September 17, 2009 1:14PM

Repeat after Me: “We Are All Individuals”

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A millennium or so ago, Steve Martin played a stadium with his stand‐​up act. He got the crowd of tens of thousands to repeat a series of statements in unison. My favorite, for sheer irony: “We Are all Individuals.”

But, the thing is, we are.

This is why I never cease to be amazed by disagreements like the one currently playing out between the curriculum groups “Common Core,” and “Partnership for 21st Century Skills.”

Is there really one curriculum that is right for every child in this nation of 300 million people? Really?

Rather than fighting a winner‐​take‐​all Shootout at the O.K. Curriculum, which is what our illustrious leaders seem to want, how about this peace‐​loving alternative: we let teachers teach whatever and however they want, and we let families choose and pay for whichever schools they think are best for their kids (with financial aid for those who need it).

‘Cause the thing is, a quarter century of econometric research is repeating, in Steve‐​Martin‐​Like unison that: educational freedom works.