Responding to GSC with clarification:
By "summative" I mean NCLB standards based assessments that are aggregated across categories, and compared by school, state and nation.
I think these assessments are primarily for policy makers and do not help teachers that much in driving instruction day after day in the classroom. Instead they take away critical time that students need to think deeply and instead force us teachers to focus and spend extra time checking for and building skills. ( I do think skills are important, but they are only one piece of the puzzle. )
I also believe these tests cannot adequately assess the whole child and students' innate ability to learn. Again I assert, a primary purpose of life is to learn and we are born knowing how to do it. It seems that whether students believe in themselves and their ability to succeed plays a huge role. Somewhere along the way many students often question whether they can do it. I tell my students they can do it and stretch them as far as possible with high expectations, then modify expectations for those who really need it.