This excerpt is cross-posted from the where Katrina vanden Heuvel writes a weekly column. For the full column, visit the

Diane Ravitch’s one-eighty on American education will surely catch the attention of those involved with the upcoming overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act. Once an ardent supporter of NCLB, Ravitch has completely changed her mind. According to the New York Times, "Charter schools, she concluded, were proving to be no better on average than regular schools, but in many cities were bleeding resources from the public system. Testing had become not just a way to measure student learning, but an end in itself." Ravitch has realized, it would seem, that the reams of data NCLB’s standardized testing generated haven’t actually changed American education for the better but simply reemphasized the pre-NCLB notion that, indeed, too many American children are getting left behind by an inadequate educational system.