Spring is a season of new birth, warmer weather, and in America’s public schools, standardized testing. Several springs ago I was a high school English teacher. The day arrived when all 10th graders across the state of South Carolina would take the first of a series of tests called the HSAP (High School Assessment Program). At my high school where 99% of our student body was African American and most of the students were eligible for free and reduced meals, this acronym spiked fear in students and teachers alike. We knew we were a low performing school: our standardized tests scores for the past few years were extremely low. No one wants to belong to a low performing school. Low performing schools drag down the mean for a district’s more affluent schools and prompt district administrators to eye the principal, teachers, and students with suspicion and resentment.