Cold Feet on Standards

Who didn’t see this coming?  Via EdWeek, we find out that a number of politicians are worried that the CCSSO-NGA common standards effort is akin to imposing federal education standards, given RtTT’s embedded assurance on the topic.

A few things on this.  First, some states – like CA and MD – are worried that common standards would be set below already high state standards.  This is a fine argument, but I find it extremely hard to believe that the feds would punish states who go above and beyond the any mutually agreed upon threshold.  The whole point of RtTT is to encourage states to improve, so the whole dumbing-down argument doesn’t fly.

Second, DE rep Mike Castle says, “Political concerns could get in the way.”  And that’s important because state politics play no role in current discussions on curriculum, testing, and standards? Hmmm …

Third, I hope this posturing doesn’t cause any cold feet on the whole common standards front.  If folks are starting to bug out, it probably means we’re on the right track.

Also, on the substance of common standards, let me go on record saying that having 51 (DC has standards) different sets of education standards in this country is ludicrous, and if we ever expect to remain intellectually and economically competitive in an increasingly multi-polar world, having some coherence in this domain shouldn’t even be up for debate.


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