I'm going to begin with a comment.
Political Spectator: She is a smart lady. It has not taken her this long to figure out standardized testing is overuse and it stifles creativity. The difference is a Democrat is in office. Before you drink from Ms. Ravitch’s Kool Aid, understand that her views are subject to change when the politics change.
I'm not going to criticize Political Spectator's opinion--I, too, am a cynic. Given the research that Dr. Ravitch had conducted and compiled, though, I think something natural has happened: The research forced a change in her viewpoints. Frankly, that should happen throughout academia.
"A longtime critic of education fads, Ravitch says that at first she didn’t realize that No Child Left Behind was just another of those fads... She also identifies two other fads — choice and charter schools — that will also fail to create lasting improvement in schools... Merit pay, another education fad, also draws her disapproval. In her view, it has not improved student performance and has become another way to beat up on teachers..."
These fads aren't parachute pants, Members Only jackets, and skinny ties. They are wasting time and preventing us from designing an education system that works.