Do Hard Courses and Good Grades Enhance Cognitive Skills?. Paul Peterson, Jay R. GirottoIn Paul E. Peterson and Susan Mayer, Eds.. Earning and Learning: How Schools Matter. Brookings Institution Press. 1999.
Keeping an Eye on State Standards: A Race to the Bottom?. Frederick Hess, Paul E. Peterson. Education Next, 6(3), 28. 2006.

While No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires all students to be “ proficient” in math and reading by 2014, the precedent-setting 2002 federal law also allows each state to determine its own level of proficiency. It’ s an odd discordance at best. It has led to the bizarre situation in which some states achieve handsome proficiency results by grading their students against low standards, while other states suffer poor proficiency ratings only because they have high standards.