So it's not surprising that some people are re-thinking their enthusiasm. Diane Ravitch is one of them.
After three years of teaching in Baltimore City Public Schools (at both a public middle school and a public charter elementary\middle school) I have a a certain sympathy for Ravitch's about face. The Maryland State Assessment, and linking the future of a school's existence to their results on the test, has led to a paucity of imagination in curriculum. Middle school instruction in low performing schools has literally been reduced to the teaching of isolated skills. This, I hope is obvious to see, is indeed a tragedy and even an outrage. Does that mean standards based accountability is the real problem? I think you have to look further and deeper. We should not expect a simple conclusion.
I just hope that Ravitch doesn't give up the ghost entirely. Unions, and the public school bureaucracy continues to cripple the education system more than any other curriculum or standardized test.