That being said, I'm really seeing it today. As the Keystone tests kick off, it's all hands on deck as the biology teachers, administrators, and really everyone who teaches 9th-11th grade students is pushing the importance of these exams. Students are told to do well on the test for pride in their school, or pride in themselves, or for the freshmen, do well because it's now a state-mandated graduation requirement. Deep down, all of these teachers know the tests, if anything, are just another hurdle to jump through (performance on a summative assessments given annually in one singular method with no opportunity to see one's mistakes is hardly an effective method of improving students) but they still have to treat it like it's something fun, or a challenge to overtake. Teachers are expected to become cheerleaders for a task they likely don't agree with, because...well...the alternative is a bigger mess. Should students fail the test, it not only reflects badly on that student, but the teachers, and school as well.
Now of course, I hope students do well on these exams. Why would anyone hope otherwise? I was always told growing up that even on things like this that don't matter, the expectation is that you pass it, get it out of the way, and move on. If it's really an "easy waste of time", you should be able to do well on it, right? However, it's really really difficult to get excited about these things as an adult (and I can get excited about almost anything in the school year). I can only imagine how difficult it is for a sixteen year old, with no skin in the game, to roll out of bed on a Wednesday and ace a two-hour biology exam...a subject they may not have had for two years.
So Rah Rah...go Keystones. Pass those tests. You can do it.