[caption id="attachment_67848" align="alignleft" width="215" caption="Not all teachers are willing to go to such lengths. "][/caption]

Even as the annual state testing season bore down on her this spring, fourth-grade teacher Jin Yi barely bothered with test prep materials. The Hobart Boulevard Elementary School teacher used to spend weeks with practice tests but found they bored her students.

Instead, she engages them with hands-on lessons, such as measuring their arms and comparing that data to solve above-grade-level subtraction problems.

"I used to spend time on test prep because I felt pressured to do...

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