This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← U.S. State Science Standards Are ‘Mediocre to Awful’

Red Dog's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Red Dog

Comment 19 by Kurt75 :

Shouldn't the Department of Education be setting the standards for the states? (Of course this is one of the departments that Rick Perry said he would eliminate.)

Ideally yes they should. But its a hold over from the "states rights" early days of US history that each state sets their own standards. This made sense back when the lives of Virginians and New Englanders were so different but it makes no sense now.

The problem is there are all sorts of entrenched interests that perpetuate the current system. There are people in each state who make up these standards who would lose power and/or their jobs. Even more so there are the Educational Testing and Text Book corporations. I worked as a consultant for one of the two education testing services that do virtually all the testing for US schools. The NCLB act coupled with the insane rule that each state sets its own standards was a gold mine for them.

They would take standards/tests from a common database, make small changes to them (with input from the state school bureacrats) and then sell the test to the state as if it had been created from scratch. Essentially rather than creating one set of standards and tests and get paid once for it they created 50 different versions. These corporate interests will collaborate with people who want to remove references to the founding fathers owning slaves (a real example) to resist the very rational notion that the US should have one common set of education standards for the whole nation.

Sat, 04 Feb 2012 22:43:41 UTC | #914676