Looks like we are going to have Core Standards with different testing to go with them. Somehow or other someone got the notion that if we make a standard and insist that every child reach it they will. Doesn't matter that the pronouncement makes no logical sense. Probably the same thing will happen with these standards as with others. Either we will discover ALL kids can't make the grade so we lower the standard or, at the very least, make the test that measures the standard easier. Then we can say, look all the children have reached the standard. Never mind that teachers are only teaching to that test standard to the exclusion of all the other important meaningful things that children need to learn. If we don't lower the measuring stick standard, the alternative will be for us to decry how awful public education is and its teachers because the children have not met the standard. Whichever party is out of power at the time will blame the other party for allowing public education to go to hell in a hand basket.
Why can't we realize that democracy or not, all humans are not created equally when it comes to academic prowess. We are not created equally when it comes to other abilities either but we seem to have an easier time accepting unequal athletic ability or unequal artistic ability.
I used to love the story The Emperor's New Clothes. Now I am waiting for someone to have the courage of the child in the story and say all this standard stuff is as unreal as the Emperor's New Clothes. We need a leader in education who will stand up and say, we need to teach children based on their needs not ours. Not everyone SHOULD go to college. Not everyone NEEDS higher order math achievement. There are multiple futures for our children and we should respect them enough to teach and prepare them for their individual skill set.