“Despite my many bets to the contrary, the movement for national learning standards still lives. More than 40 states (including Maryland, but not Virginia) plus the District have enlisted. They are executing plans for instruction in all grades and, eventually, common assessments in math and English language arts.
“Virginia, take a bow.
While Maryland, 44 other states and the District are spending billions of dollars to install new national standards for their schools, Virginia has stuck with the standards it has. Mounting evidence shows Virginia is right, and the others wrong.”
He concludes with a flourish:
“I have interviewed hundreds of teachers who significantly raised student achievement. Not one has ever said it was because of great state learning standards. Good curricula help, but high-minded, numbingly detailed standards don’t produce them. How teachers are trained and supported in the classroom is what matters, even in states as enlightened as Virginia.”