By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For a broad view of our troubles in education, read The New York Times editorial “The Trouble With Testing Mania.”

A decade ago schools were required to test students in math and reading, grades 3-8 yearly, and show progress in order to get federal aid. If they did not meet targets for two years, they would be labeled “needing help” and subjected to sanctions.

Then came other testing through a competitive grant program, Race to the Top, a waiver program related to No Child Left Behind – pushing states to create teacher evaluations taking student performance into account.

The article looks at Finland’s student success, pointing to quality teacher preparation, standards and a national curriculum.

It gives a hopeful nod to the newly adopted Common Core – with expectations of moving beyond the rote memorization to reasoning and writing skills and also supports looking beyond at advanced courses, promotion rates and college-going rates to gauge progress, not just testing.