Andrew already blogged about it a bit, but overshadowed by the release of President Obama’s price-controlling health-insurance proposal was his speech to the National Governors Association promoting the federal takeover of elementary and secondary school curricula. True, the White House would only require states to adopt some sort of “common” – not national and certainly not federal – standards to get federal funds, but don’t accept the semantic dodge: If the feds are paying, the standards will not only be national, but federal.
Implicit in the President’s proposal, as well as the rhetoric of many national-standards supporters, is that national standards will necessarily be high standards that push improved academic achievement. Unfortunately, these people have chosen to ignore actual tests of that proposition.
They can no longer: My latest Policy Analysis – Behind the Curtain: Assessing the Case for National Curriculum Standards – reviews the theoretical and empirical literature and shows that there is simply no convincing evidence that national standards drive higher academic achievement. Couple that with federal meddling in education being clearly unconstitutional, and the next critical battle in the war against Leviathan seems to be shaping up. And this time, we could very well be fighting for our children’s minds.