Although it’s unlikely that Congress will ever legislate national education standards, competition among the states will bring about the natural evolution of higher state standards, according to author Denis P. Doyle, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.
Like so many significant developments today, this evolution is being propelled rapidly forward by the Internet, where standards information for each state is readily available for retrieval and easy side-by-side comparison with any or all other states.
Standards-setting state by state “stimulates robust and productive comparisons and leads ineluctably to de facto national standards” as each state aspires to be as good as the best, said Doyle recently.
Some 40 state standards–plus Japan’s–for English, math, science, and social studies are available for retrieval and comparison at http://www.achieve.org, the Web site of Achieve, Inc., a nonprofit group of business CEOs and the National Governors’ Association.
Doyle’s latest book, Raising the Standard (Corwin Press, second edition 1999, 174 pages), which he wrote with Susan Pimentel, presents an eight-step action guide for schools and communities to raise educational standards. The book includes a CD-ROM to provide easy Internet access to sites where the latest information on each step is available.