Time for national standards

It’s time for national standards in reading and math, writes Walter Isaacson in Time. The K-12 system is “burdened by an incoherent jumble of state and local curriculum standards, assessment tools, tests, texts and teaching materials,” he writes. States can lower standards to define every student, however illiterate and innumerate, as “proficient.”

Today’s wacky patchwork makes it difficult to assess which methods work best or how to hold teachers and schools accountable.

. . . These 21st century American Standards should be comparable to, and benchmarked against, the standards of other countries so that we can determine how globally competitive our nation’s economy will be in the future.

“Straightforward and sensible,” writes Eduwonk. Commenters wonder: Why doesn’t Isaacson want mathematicians to help write math standards?