The Big Test was upon us, and during the next three weeks of testing, my special education students felt like complete failures—due to the fact that they were complete failures. They cried. They screamed and threw chairs. They stared at text that may as well have been written in Swedish and conjured up an answer. Many of them bubbled in the same letter each time, or simply rewrote the question in the “extended response” boxes, painstakingly recopying words that held no meaning for them.