Teach above the test, not to the test
Too often, teachers and administrators complain that they are overly constrained by what the state government expects and cannot deviate for fear of not covering the necessary material. This statement is somewhat true, however through authentic learning experiences i.e. content-specific authentic texts, evaluating real world issues, community service projects, labs, students can build an understanding of the world that takes them past any standard the state has set for them. In any perpetually high-achieving school regardless of any demographic data, they do not teach to the test, they teach above the test. Students’ experiences and knowledge take care of the rest.
Kevin ‘Doc’ Dougherty via http://educationismylife.com/curiosity-does-not-equal-chaos