This clip captures the irony of ironies for the mess in the middle:
Middle schools, sometimes called intermediate schools, were created starting in the 1960s, after educators determined that seventh-through-ninth-grade junior high schools were excessively rigid and unattuned to adolescents’ personal development. But now, a battery of standardized tests, some required under the No Child Left Behind law, are starkly illustrating that many of these sixth-through-eighth-grade schools are failing, also.
How do we know that middle schools are "excessively rigid and unattuned to adolescents' personal development?" We administer a battery of excessively rigid and unattuned instruments, silly--like the ones that have destroyed the natural intellectual curiosity that once accompanied childhood.