A Flip-Flop Worth Having: Let the states improve the performance of our students—and let Washington measure it


Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Author(s): Diane Ravitch

Research Area: Education

Keywords: Education; No Child Left Behind; Public Education

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The No Child Left Behind Act is fundamentally flawed. The main goal of the law—that all children in the United States be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014—is simply unattainable. The primary strategy—to test all children in those subjects in grades three through eight every year—has unleashed an unhealthy obsession with standardized testing that has reduced the time available for teaching other important subjects. We need to let the states improve the performance of our students.

This essay appeared in the New York Times on October 3, 2007.