A Nice Little Reminder

There hasn’t been much in the news about education over the last several weeks, so there haven’t been many education entries here on Cato@Liberty. That should be changing soon, though, with the first round of state “Race-to-the-Top” applications due to the feds on January 19, and the Common Core State Standards Initiative expected to release draft grade-by-grade mathematics and language-arts standards sometime this month.

To tide you over until those two monumental happenings occur, the New York Times today offers a little piece about supposedly tough state “exit examinations” that illustrates why you shouldn’t expect either R to the T or national standards to produce any meaningful improvement in academic outcomes. Quite simply, no matter how good or tough “standards” and “accountability” sound, in government schooling they will almost always end up evaded. After all, what incentive does anyone have to set and meet high standards when they’re going to get paid no matter what?