The second book actually tries to diagnose this pathological precept. Ravitch quotes the author, Kristina Rizga on this matter:
Some of the most important things that matter in a quality education—critical thinking, intrinsic motivation, resilience, self-management, resourcefulness, and relationship skills—exist in the realms that can’t be easily measured by statistical measures and computer algorithms, but they can be detected by teachers using human judgment. America’s business-inspired obsession with prioritizing “metrics” in a complex world that deals with the development of individual minds has become the primary cause of mediocrity in American schools.In other words our educational system is as flawed as our health care for exactly the same reason. Both are dominated by market-based thinking according to which each is to be viewed as an industry that needs to be efficiently managed for the sake of turning a lucrative profit. Never mind that only "the one percent of the one percent" ever really benefit from such thinking. If they are rich, then they must be doing the right thing.
This then takes us to Ravitch's own punch line, which she reserves for her final sentence:
As a society, we should be ashamed that so many children are immersed in poverty and violence every day of their lives.The real shame is that we have entrusted that responsibility for "human judgment" to those whose only achievement is the creation of wealth. Because nothing else matters, we allow poverty to flourish at greater and greater levels as a corollary to the widening distribution of wealth. Is it any wonder that violence follows poverty as night follows the day? Perhaps this is what "the one percent of the one percent" actually want. Perhaps they figure that such a corollary of violence will eventually lead to poverty self-destructing, after which the super-rich can live in the happiness of their wealth without feeling guilty about any harsh realities. The only question they seem to have overlooked is whether or not they will be able to sustain themselves in such a world. Unfortunately, the rest of us will not be around to witness their encounter with that revelation.