11/16/13 ** I heard this author interviewed on the NPR-affiliate program called With Good Reason
. I've requested the book from the library. My initial reaction is that the author (a journalist) spends too much time using the language of the school privatization/reform movement. In the first 60 seconds of the interview, he used the word "failing" at least three times. He also said at least twice that the "teachers were doing the best they could." To me, this phrase seems condescending, implying "well, I know they didn't make the goal, but..."
In his closing comments, he said that he thought we still needed testing in schools, because we do need some accountability, but maybe we should test at 5th and 8th grades instead of all grades 3 -8. He also mentioned the opt out movement. However, I didn't think he made a strong enough argument against testing. Also, he didn't talk enough about the reasons why a school might be "failing" BY THE DEFINITION OF NCLB (though not really failing).