May 25, 2011 2:01PM

On Pins and Angels

The focus of the debate over a national curriculum has shifted to the illegality of the federal government extorting states to homogenize their standards and paying for national tests. It's an important point, but let’s remember another one that Neal McCluskey has been at pains to make: these are bad ideas irrespective of their legality.

There is no consistent body of evidence supporting national standards and testing schemes, while there is a vast and consistent body of evidence that the least regulated, most market-like education systems around the world outperform those blessed with the careful oversight of bureaucrats and regulators.

The push for homogenized national education standards is so unscientific and anti-empirical, so purely based on the faith its proponents have in the rightness of what they are doing, as to evoke medieval scholasticism.