From The Atlantic, The Coming Revolution in Public Education: Why the current wave of reforms, with its heave emphasis on standardized tests, may actually be harming kids.
From Foreign Affairs, Why American Education Fails: And how lessons from abroad could improve it.
Both authors have lots to say about how accountability, standardization, and regimentation is bad for kids, parents, teachers, and the system itself. Solutions probably lie in taking local/school knowledge and assets to network with outside groups to share best practices and avoid a one-size-fits-all or "factory" model of education.
Wiggins the former offers advice we all can benefit from (and no, its not to adopt IB programs) with respect to assessment, "Have clear, simple criteria for each major assessment at course/grade level against which all teachers and can assess. And then assess them in multiple ways." In addition, Wiggins ties in much of what Tierney (The Atlantic) and Mehta (Foreign Affairs) have to say regarding networking and collaboration amongst faculty and professional organizations across time and space.
One of the take aways from this is that we are doing many of these things already at our school: adopting IB-style standards, fostering collaboration across classes and other Meritas schools, and focusing on a diversity of ways our students and families learn and participate in our community. We also need to be sure that as we move to deepen these practices, such as focusing on assessments and performance objectives through SBL for example, that we do so in light of our mission, successes for our students and families, and the hundreds of years of local knowledge we have in all of our educators.