National standards lock in mediocrity

California should reject national standards, which inevitably will be tied to national testing and a national curriculum, writes  Jon Fleischman on Flash Report.

. . . one-size-fits-all national standards and curriculum will stifle competition and could lock in mediocrity on a countrywide scale rather than promote excellence.

California’s state standards are high. Student performance is not.

About Joanne


  1. Am I missing something by what is meant by “adopting” the standards? Is there some wording that prevents a state from saying that they do, in fact, use the national standards as a minimum and then add on to that for schools in that state?

    I guess I’m getting a little frustrated with this “aim for mediocre” attitude. I’d really like to see standards referred to as minimums in the debate because I think that’s what they should be. Plenty of schools teach more than what their state standards require and isn’t that a good thing? No one tells a school to stop instruction that goes above and beyond state standards, yet that seems to be the big beef with national standards, that they will prevent states from doing more.

    National standards won’t ever be rigorous, but I can see how having them will force states with low achievement to have something to shoot for. I just hope that states with larger goals don’t take national standards as a way to do less.

  2. Traditionally education has been left to the states to deal with, but right now it seems that people want one entity (the federal government) to fix all of the problems. If the American people expect a national government to fix the problems with our education system(s), then they must allow for the adoption of national standards. It’s unreasonable to expect the federal government to provide funding and support without holding people accountable and providing some direction.

    Patti- Well said.

  3. It would be nice if California could raise its schools to mediocre, that would be an improvement.

  4. I have to admit when I see test scores that are so far above the average it makes me sad. It means the average is way too low!

    In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, is having a contest where every teacher in your school can win a free gift! Check out the contest at my link.

  5. Sheesh, more baloney in education.

    Politicos know that being pro-education resonates with voters, but if we actually took a look at the facts from the study “A nation at risk” (early 1980’s) and “A nation still at risk” you would find that many of the problems found in BOTH of those reports have never been addressed.

    A perfect example of a epic fail on the part of the federal gov’t in education is the program known as Goals 2000 brought on board by the Clinton administration and had a large amount of help from Marc Tucker (a friend of Hillary Clinton).

    This program also had great goals, but it was defunded after 14 years without having met a SINGLE stated goal (it was the precursor to NCLB).

    NCLB is also laughable as some kids are ALWAYS going to be left behind, and we know the ones that will be (discipline problems, kids cutting class, etc).

    I’d like a refund for all the tax dollars I’ve paid in the last 17 years for public education, since it’s clear that I’m not getting my money’s worth (I know it will never happen).



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by kriley19, JoanneLeeJacobs. JoanneLeeJacobs said: New blog post: National standards lock in mediocrity […]