National Education Standards?
So yesterday the story hits the wire that 46 states and the District of Columbia are proposing a set of national education standards. Seems like a good idea, and it has many pros. My worry is that we can’t seem to create and perform to a consistent set of standards at a STATE level — what makes us think we can do better if we do it nationwide?
We also have to realize that kids perform at different abilities in different cities/districts/states. Our tendency is always to seek out and set standards for the lowest common denominator not raise that achievement bar (which, in principle, NCLB was trying to do), so we have to be careful that we don’t continue to dumb down our expectations.
But, regardless of what we do in establishing standards, if we cannot improve the learning environment and the amount of productive time in the classroom, then it won’t matter what we propose — we’ll just find ourselves underperforming and underachieving again.