At a meeting yesterday with some teacher union leaders to discuss various facets of the new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), I was taken aback to find the discussion turn to the Commissioner of Education’s ruling that teacher may neither administer state exams to their own students nor mark them. Elementary teachers present spoke with some passion about their belief that students perform better when their teacher administers a test, they being used to taking directions from some one they have spent hours and hours listening to. To these teachers, this Albany edict is but the latest example of the ignorance of education policy makers about how children react to classroom situations. While I hadn’t thought about this issue before, it was immediately clear to me that my colleagues had a valid point. Simply put, isn’t it obvious that children will perform better in a familiar setting, receiving directions from someone they know and trust than from a stranger? It surely is obvious, or should be, except to those who make policy in a vacuum. If these tests are considered to be so important, shouldn’t children take them under optimal conditions?