Late last year, Elijah Falk was just another eleventh grader at Seattle's Nathan Hale High School who had never heard of the Smarter Balanced Assessments.
Then a friend told him all about it — that the test was more than eight hours long, required for every high school junior in Washington state but, in the end, mostly unnecessary to earn a diploma.
Falk was shocked.
"The huge amount of testing I've had to go through during my short time as a student— it's taking away from my time in the classroom," Falk said. "That kinda crosses a line where it's not helpful."