Saturday, February 2, 2008

Should we have national standards?

Plan Would Nationalize Schools to End Disparities

Matt Miller has a radical but simple proposal to improve the nation's public schools: federalize funding to eliminate disparities in per-pupil funding between poor and affluent communities. He also proposes a single set of federal standards for math, science and reading, instead of letting each state set its own standards. Scott Simon speaks with Miller, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

I'm on board with the single set of standards - I think it would improve the likelihood of curriculum materials being truly aligned to the standards teachers need to teach, instead of being aligned to big states like Texas and California with superficial adjustments made for other state editions. I also think with the national testing requirements of NCLB it's redundant for each state to spend money to create its own assessments.

1 comment:

julie said...

I'm another proponent of national standards. Another thing that national standards and assessments would eliminate is the games (some) states play with their assessments. When I taught in North Carolina, a child would be classified as "proficient" based on his or her score on the NC assessment, but that same child would have been classified as "below basic" if he or she crossed state lines to South Carolina. National standards, if properly implemented, would give us a better idea of what students are actually learning.