From Charles Murray:

I expect that Rick Hess will weigh in with a more measured assessment of the proposed national educational standards in English and math, but my quick take is that the math standards are not awful (you can only do so much bobbing and weaving with math standards) and that the English standards are gobbledygook. Having seen the K-12 homework brought home by my two children who went through the Maryland public schools in the 1990s through the mid-2000s, I assure you that almost all of the proposed English standards can be met with the same mushy, touchy-feely curriculum currently in place.

Whatever elements of rigor may be found in these standards will be watered down, not augmented, during the review process. Bill Bennett’s [’65] response when he was asked years ago about the prospect for national educational standards still holds. Can’t happen, he said. “Republicans don’t do national, and Democrats don’t do standards.”

Indeed. The results of No Child Left Behind have certainly lived down to Bennett’s expectations.

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