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Diane Ravitch: No Child Left Behind is a failure

Diane Ravitch, formerly the Assistant Secretary of Education during Bush Sr.'s presidency, spoke out in favor of No Child Left Behind in 2005. 

But, as she said on NPR today, she has changed her mind. 

"The basic strategy is measuring and punishing," Ravitch says of No Child Left Behind. "And it turns out as a result of putting so much emphasis on the test scores, athere's a lot of cheating going on, there's a lot of gaming the system.  Instead of raising standards it's actually lowered standards because many states have 'dummbed down' their tests or changed the scoring of their tests to say that more kids are passing than actually are."

Read or listen to the whole story at, where you can also read an excerpt from her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System.