Ever wonder who actually grades kids' essays on standardized tests like the MCAS or the PARCC? If you care about education, you won't like the answer.
Check out this recent New York Times article on the topic -- http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/23/us/grading-the-common-core-no-teaching-experience-required.html?referrer=&_r=2
And also this blog post about the article -- http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2015/06/mcgrading-mctest.html
Even better, take the time to read Todd Farley's book, Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry about his experiences as a grader for these tests. It's an interesting, if depressing, read -- and explains well how following a formula produces good scores and actual understanding and thoughtfulness may not.