Jay Mathews may not have gotten it right in his bet with Greg over how many school choice programs would be adopted during the most recent round of state legislative sessions, but he is completely on target with his take on the bleak political future of the national standards movement. I’d say that he is Right On!
[A system of national standards, curriculum, and assessments] sounds great. But it won’t help and won’t work. Such specific standards stifle creativity and conflict with a two-century American preference for local decision-making about schools….
No Child Left Behind and the Race to the Top grants are likely to be the high water mark of federal involvement in schools. Washington officials will dump all kinds of education programs so that they don’t have to cut too deeply into monthly allotments to regular voting geezers like me.
We already have all the national standards we need from decades of states borrowing one another’s ideas. The colleges generally agree how much math, English, history and science our students need. Employers are pushing for special requirements for students who want to work after high school. Those local business executives will know better than any national panel what the students in their communities need to learn in the way of teamwork, critical thinking, presentation skills and time management.
And Jay Mathews favorably discusses one of my blog posts on this topic, so obviously he is right. : )