While I was traveling to Denver, I received a request from The New Republic to respond to an article by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the provost of the University of Pennsylvania, who asserted that we need more tests, because studying for tests makes kids smarter. I wrote this article, responding to Dr. Ezekiel that what matters most about tests is who writes them, how quickly results are reported, and what they are used for. The best tests, I argue, are made by the teachers. They know what they taught. They get. Almost instant feedback. They can see which students need extra help. And they can learn how to improve their teaching.

Yes, Dr. Emanuel is the brother of the mayor of a large US city.