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Lost Purposes

Part of the thinking behind NCLB and similar policies is the focus on measurability/transactionalization. One of underlying ideas is: if something can't be easily modeled/measured, it's not to be considered. The corollary to that is that things that are easily measured (test scores, in this case) are piled on, sometimes thoughtlessly.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-h-green/software-programming-and-_b_69287.html

is a brief, but enlightening article on the subject.