Certainly they are different kinds of "pills"; mine is only by analogy but don't get too excited.  This is from a message to my math ed class that exposes students to the various standards and so-called "standards" about which they are to be familiar (NCTM. CA, CCSS, CHSEE) with an attached message that included the actual links and more explanation:.
Here are the websites as promised in the syllabus along with an LA Times editorial of today, 2/6/13, that provides a warning against too much blind, external control.  My personal conviction, is that substantial external control, including inexpensive but meaningfully appropriate annual assessments, is entirely appropriate but the importance of being clear-eyed with adequate systemic oversight is essential.  We do need to discuss these to some extent starting next week.
Requiring that NO child be left behind using clear and meaningful assessments may have made good bipartisan politics but a recipe for failure.  Imposing systems that do not address students at their individual levels of performance is a recipe for failure in other ways; it denies special instruction to those who don't understand what's going on as well as to those who may be well beyond.  Should that be an excuse for throwing out the baby with the bath water?  No, but that is how it gets interpreted by some.  Hope that helps,

A good start using meaningful tests would be to require of their admission by completely independent parties and objective scoring, preferably, machine scoring both for cost and consistency.  Written student responses have the same intensity problem as the new portion of the SAT (that many colleges ignore); even with competent readers.  Vastly insufficient time is allowed for scoring because it is cost prohibitive and, even then, the human factor of scoring guarantees some inconsistency.

Wayne

At 07:38 PM 2/6/2013, GS Chandy wrote:
Well, I'm not certain that Professor Wayne Bishop is, in his post on "Education miracles that aren't"

  http://mathforum.org/kb/servlet/JiveServlet/download/206-2433333-8256052-803402/att1.html

is discussing the same kind of "magic pill" that Dom Rosa is in his post at

  http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2433333 -

but I'm delighted to agree with the thrust(s) of what I have perceived to be of both their arguments (if I have gauged these correctly)!

This has to be classified as a spectacularly rare occurrence indeed.

GSC