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I have heard those painful words from both of my older kids as well, and I (guilty mom complex) always worried that on some level I had contributed to their feeling that way! Maybe it is some kind of "rite of passage" in their development...?
As I know you will, trust your instincts as to what will best suit Ella. These kids are definitely tested too frequently and too young. Every kid is so unique...
Jake has always been rather oblivious to the fact that he is being tested, graded, ranked, etc and I sometimes wish he would pay more attention to it all so that it would motivate him to set high standards for his performance (i.e. a little competition can be a good thing.) Now that he is older and knows he is being tested, he is very nonchalant about it all and is self-assured enough to not be defined by these artificial measures of rank. (This is a good thing I guess.)
Amy at first tested poorly (in kindergarten) but then quickly caught on that she was being tested, that these were things she needed to learn to do well on the tests, that she could do well...now (2nd grade) she is very competitve academically, and her grades show it. (This is a good thing I guess.) But sometimes I worry that she puts too much pressure on herself to do well.
Sometimes it is the difficult situations that our children face that make them stronger, mold them, teach them. Other times, we see them face these difficult situations and we know that it is time to step in and protect them from potential harm. It is very hard to know when we are in which situation. All we can do is trust our instincts.

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