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National standards.

Regarding the forum, "National Standards: Should the Federal Government Tell Schools What to Teach?" (Fall 2006), the greater the centralization of school decisions nationwide, the lower is the possibility of excellence in academic achievement. If there were a "single provider" of education policy decisions, the country would suffer a disastrous loss of competition. It would become an inevitable race to the bottom. The only effective education lobbyists would be the well-funded national ones, with their own narrow, intolerant agendas.

Consider what the federal government has already done to produce excellent education in the country. Nothing much. After billions of dollars and millions of words over decades of studies and programs, there is no definitive best teaching or learning method coming from the federal government. The slogan "No Child Left Behind" is a perfect example. It focuses on the bottom of the barrel, those who presumably are "left behind," perhaps 10 percent of the population. The other 90 percent of students and parents are by definition "left outside" the concerns of Washington's bureaucrats.

CARL OLSON

Founder Textbook Trust
COPYRIGHT 2007 Hoover Institution Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:correspondence
Author:Olson, Carl
Publication:Education Next
Date:Mar 22, 2007
Words:177
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