This is what Ms. Meier, 72, is fighting, "top down standardization," bred by state testing programs that she sees as pushing public education toward mediocrity. She is offended that many politicians leading the standardized testing charge, including President Bush and his brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, (graduates of Phillips Academy in nearby Andover, Mass.), are products of private schools that are exempt from state testing. "It's like they're saying a safe, mediocre education is good enough for public schools. After 35 years, I'm not willing to settle for that. We can make city schools as good as good private schools."