It seems that the more I read about the state of education in America the more charter schools make sense. Putting the money set aside for each kid in the hands of the parents does have inherent problems, but much less so than the current system. Unfortunately the lobby of Teacher's Unions, text book suppliers like McGraw/Hill, the private busing companies seems to be way too powerful for any widespread change now matter how much the system is in crisis.
Standardize testing is a detriment to both the student and the educator and simply is an attempt at a blanket solution for a system made up independent school districts. The fact that the quality of education you receive in America is directly related to the amount of property tax in your district really makes the way that the standardized testing system works completely backwards.