But, the bottom line is, we need to do just that. I fought the AR fight when my grandkids, the former residents of the back bedroom, were in school. I tried to have them opted out of the AR program. Instead I was offered the chance to write quizzes for the books my residents of the back bedroom were reading, many of which were as yet unpublished or not widely for sale (yes, I often get ARCs and my kids would read them). I demurred as that would really defeat the purpose of giving my kids something they might actually LIKE to read and punish them by measuring their ability to retain "facts" for a quiz (and to get points and win prizes, too, beyond that portion that was their grade). Now I see other teachers dealing with these same issues.
Did you finish the required summer reading? Make a diorama. Read a book over the Thanksgiving break? Take the test. Get the points. No go away kid, you bother me (to quote an old comic actor). Make and take need to be replaced by TALK. Talk to me about the book you read. Tell me what you liked, found incredulous. Discuss how the author moved you to tears, giggles, anger, etc.
Terry Ley wrote about Directed Individualized Reading (kids read and then talk to teachers who have also read the book) in 1979 (http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ202956). Nancie Atwell write IN THE MIDDLE in 1987. LESSONS FROM A CHILD pubbed in 1983. We have had decades of leaders sharing authentic reading and writing with kids. Yet, the corporate mentality still manages to leak into the classrooms. In some ways this is like the many-headed hydra. Cut off one head, two more grows in its place. Hmmm….. torches, anyone?