Getting Testy over Tests

A surefire way to commit political suicide a few months ago was to oppose more school testing. The name of the landmark education bill President Bush signed in January--the No Child Left Behind Act--reflected the prevailing mood: to resist standardized tests was to desert kids. The legislation, which mandates annual testing in Grades 3 through 8, passed overwhelmingly. But as state legislatures sew up their budgets and students dive into year-end exams, a change is afoot--the sacred cow of school testing is getting tested itself.

The Governor of Vermont has taken the most dramatic stance: Democrat Howard Dean said he would...

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