First, the federal government, working with the governors, should develop national standards and assessments for student achievement. Our current state-by-state approach has spawned a race to the bottom, with many states dumbing down standards to make it easier for students to pass achievement tests. Even when students manage to graduate from today’s inner-city high schools, they all too frequently are still wholly unprepared for college or gainful employment.
Second, the federal government should take most of the more than $30 billion it now spends on K-12 education and reposition the funding to support the recruitment and retention of the best teachers in underserved urban schools.
In the Washington Post, Diane Ravitch urges Arne Duncan to scrap No Child Left Behind.