In real time, the government is paying people to invent more bubble tests for the untested subjects (art, science, physical education), and we're giving these not just annually, but four, five, six, 10 times a year to see if teachers are keeping up the needed pace, not to mention to determine how some of those teacher will get paid!
Merit pay has been tried again and again since the 1920s. Sometimes scores go up, sometimes they don't, but the programs never seem to make much difference and eventually disappear.
Democracy rests on an agreement that disagreements are inevitable and healthy and that democracy is at its best a way to sort them out with the least harm to the weakest and least of its citizens.
While right-wing governors impose cuts on the public schools and lay off thousands of teachers, the corporate reformers are strangely silent, perhaps because the dramatic reductions in the education budget are accompanied by cuts to corporate/business taxes.
We need something to fight FOR, not just against. The billionaires' reforms take us backward, so what would forward look like?