I reviewed Harvard Professor Daniel Koretz’s “The Testing Charade” in “The New Republic.” It was behind a paywall until a few days ago. The paywall has been lifted.

Here are the main points.

Koretz demolishes the test-and-punish regime of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. He says in no uncertain terms that they failed. He says they ignored Campbell’s Law, which declares that attaching high stakes to tests distorts both the measure and distorts the process they were meant to measure. The emphasis on testing led to inflation of scores, so any rise in scores as a result of pressure is of little or no significance and surely does not mean that students are better educated. I enjoyed reading the book, and my reservation is that Koretz is not at all sure what to do about accountability. I am not either. I wish that the leaders of Congress understood what a complicated subject of accountability is. I would like to see greater accountability at the top, where decisions are made about funding and autonomy. We have a wacky system where teachers, principals and students are held accountable without the power to change the conditions under which they Labor.