Massachusetts has high standards. Massachusetts students do well on NAEP and international tests. Now, comes the proposal for ‘voluntary’ national standards (voluntary because states don’t have to follow them if they are willing to forgo national funds. Good luck with that! By history, states all fall in line sooner or later.) People who have read the proposal are telling us that the national standards are lower than Massachusetts (and Virginia? and other states with high standards?) standards.

Now what? Where will it settle down. Where will the compromises lead? My fear is that the voluntary national standards will settle down in some vague, ‘lowest common denominator’ middle. Not a good place.

(Will Massachusetts maintain its high standards?). An important story to watch.

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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