Presented By
Getty Images; Photo illustration by Alex Thebez for TIME

I can only hope that future generations will look back in amazement at how we now test and test our kids in school. When I moved to the U.S. 14 years ago, I was warned by friends in Europe that Americans don’t get irony. I knew it wasn’t true when I saw that legislation, No Child Left Behind, because whoever thought of that title gets irony.

The relentless pressure of testing has turned millions of kids off school, demoralized countless teachers and pitched schools and districts against each other in a frantic race for resources. Meanwhile, it hasn’t raised standards in any way that matters. What it has raised is the profits of the testing companies.

Testing is now a multi-billion dollar industry, which gives politicians the comforting illusion of rigor while feeding off the stress of students and educators alike. Just goes to show that irony isn’t always funny.

Robinson is an author and speaker.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at

You May Also Like