Tuesday, February 17, 2009

AFT president argues for national standards

AFT President Randi Weingarten has a good point. Each state sets its own standards under the No Child Left Behind Act, and those can vary widely. Some are much tougher than others. Louisiana's education establishment, for example, is proud that our state has some of the nation's most rigorous standards. But we put less resources into our schools than many other states.

As the AFT president puts it:

Imagine the outrage if, say, the Pittsburgh Steelers had to move the ball the full 10 yards for a first down during the Super Bowl while the Arizona Cardinals had to go only seven. Imagine if this scenario were sanctioned by the National Football League. Such a system would be unfair and preposterous.

But there is little outrage over the uneven patchwork of academic standards for students in our 50 states and the District of Columbia. And the federal government has tacitly accepted this situation by giving a seal of approval to states that meet the benchmarks for improved achievement established by the federal No Child Left Behind Act -- even if their standards are lower than those of other states

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