Daniel Tanner is a professor emeritus at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. He has long been one of the leaders in the curriculum field.

In this article, he notes that many of our policymakers have come to believe in the magical powers of standardized testing, especially when high-stakes are attached to them. He notes with disappointment that there is no difference between George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and President Obama’s Race to the Top program. Neither has succeeded, he says, and neither will ever succeed. He explains patiently that tests can’t cure poverty, nor can they close achievement gaps rooted in poverty. Only direct action to address poverty can cure poverty.