The Standards Dilemma
National education standards pose a problem for states that have high standards already. If they replace their state standards with the national standards, they’re settling for lower academic goals — and all the work they put in to writing standards was wasted. But if they keep their standards unchanged, they forego federal money. That’s the predicament Massachusetts finds itself in. Here, the Boston Globe explains how turning down national standards could cost the state:
While adopting the standards would be voluntary, the Obama administration has said that it intends to withhold millions of dollars in grants for low-income students in states that refuse to join the effort — regardless of the quality of their existing standards.
The administration also says states that embrace the standards will have a better chance of receiving potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in its “Race to the Top’’ competition, which rewards education innovation.
Missouri’s standards are generally not considered to be at the level of Massachusetts’, so Missouri could probably improve its standards somewhat by agreeing to the Common Core Standards. But why should Missouri — or any state — adopt the Common Core Standards when it could do better by emulating Massachusetts or California?