Alfie Kohn raises the question of what assessment signifies, exactly. Why, he asks, do we listen to misleading traffic reports or weather predictions? "Am I really so addicted to data that I prefer misleading information to none at all?" maybe - and this allows him to be more forgiving of teachers who applaud (or bemoan) standardized test scores even whent hey know the scores are largely meaningless. "But however understandable that impulse is," he writes, "we have a duty to resist it, at least when it can do real harm." Why? "First, because these tests measure what matters least about learning.... (and) Second, every time a study that relies on test scores as the primary dependent variable is published or cited, those tests gain further legitimacy."