“If we accomplish one thing in the coming years,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said this week, “it should be to eliminate the extreme variation in standards across America.” Speaking at the American Council on Education’s annual meeting , Duncan said.
I know that talking about standards can make people nervous—but the notion that we have fifty different goalposts is absolutely ridiculous. A high school diploma needs to mean something—no matter where it’s from. We need standards that are college-ready and career-ready, and benchmarked against challenging international standards. We also need to break the culture of blame in which colleges blame high schools and high schools blame grade schools and grade schools blame parents for our failures.
Duncan was specifically speaking of ”high school standards” in his remarks, but EdWeek’s David Hof notes his comments suggest ”he’ll be pushing the issue in any reauthorization [of NCLB] that happens under his watch.” Duncan also talked up national standards in an interview with EdWeek’s Alyson Klein last week.