I never understood why teachers complained about having to "teach to a test." What's wrong with having some standards and accountability?
Then I acquired firsthand knowledge of the absurdity that can ensue in light of such "standards."
Last week I had to administer oral tests to a dozen 10-year-olds. They weren' my regular students.
I looked at the units they'd recently learned, and picked my test questions accordingly.
When I asked them, "What do I have?" or "What are you doing?" or "What is the teacher doing?" They had no idea what to say. They grinned and shuffled their feet, the precocious ones offered non-sequitur and ungrammatical one and two-word answers.
So I switched. I asked "What is he doing?" Ah-ha, then they knew: "He is swimming." How did they know? Because that's the example in the book. Most of them had four or five chapters worth of examples memorized, and not a clue how to use the words in real conversation.
A mind-boggling waste of time if you ask me.