Justin Parmenter, an NBCT teacher in North Carolina, decided to stop test prep and focus on relationships instead. The results were rewarding, to thestudents and to him.

He writes:

When the individual score reports came back, I experienced the usual roller coaster of emotions–elation over students who showed tremendous progress, disappointment with results that were lower than I knew my students had wanted. It wasn’t until I looked at overall numbers that I could see the real impact of the changes I had made. Students passing the state’s End of Grade reading test had increased by nearly 12%, and my value-added growth measure was the highest I’d ever received. From a testing standpoint, it was the best result my students have achieved in the 23 years I’ve been in the classroom.