Every year about this time Oklahoma City schools embark upon an entire week of standardized testing. US History, Language Arts, Math and Science are the subjects. Regular classes are effectively shut down until these exams are completed.

The students do not mind at all, as teachers give no homework during this time. Besides, they are allowed to chew gum, eat loads of sweets and spend much time outside between tests. Nice work if you can get it.

The exams themselves are demanding, the US History one particularly so. I would bet that many college types would find themselves at a loss over some of the questions.

In June all the exams are graded and the schools are rated according to how high they scored compared to all other schools. The school where I work has done splendidly in the past, outperforming many private schools. Teachers are expected to equal or better their students’ scores every year.

These exams have their share of bureaucratic requirements, which take up much time. For one, there has been little occasion to devote to things like writing. Many ideas float around in my mind with no time to put them upon cyber paper.

Testing ends more or less this Friday, when what passes for normalcy among teachers and students will resume.