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Beyond 'No Child'23:33
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Computer class at Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, MA. (Photo:AP)
Computer class at Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, MA. (Photo:AP)

How to improve under-achieving schools in America’s poorest communities has vexed policy makers for generations. President Bush’s No Child Left Behind law insists on accountability. But critics charge it encourages teaching to the test at the expense of real learning.

The law still sparks a loud argument — but as one of our guests today writes in the current issue of Harper's magazine, there's debate that test-prep companies such as Kaplan are profiting handsomely from the federal mandate to test, and test, and test again.

Up next, On Point: Moving beyond the tyranny of the test to school reform that actually works.Guests:

Jeremy Miller, a high school science teacher in Denver. His article “Tyranny of the Test: One year as a Kaplan coach in the public school” appears in the September issue of Harper's.

Seppy Basili, senior vice president of Learning and Assessment at Kaplan, a $2 billion company that prepares students for standardized tests.

Sara Mead, senior research fellow in the Education Policy Program and Workforce and Family Program at the New America Foundation, where she also writes for the Early Ed Watch blog.

Jordan Meranus, partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm that makes investments in organizations serving K-12 public education.

This program aired on September 9, 2008.

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