Duncan Pushes National Standards

February 10, 2009 1 min read

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spent this morning at a Northern Virginia school promoting the need for school construction money in the economic stimulus package. Yesterday, though, he spoke to the American Council on Education’s annual meeting and discussed an issue that may be important for the next version of the NCLB.

If we accomplish one thing in the coming years—it should be to eliminate the extreme variation in standards across America. I know that talking about standards can make people nervous—but the notion that we have 50 different goal posts is absolutely ridiculous. A high school diploma needs to mean something—no matter where it's from. We need standards that are college-ready and career-ready, and benchmarked against challenging international standards.

Earlier, Duncan told my colleague Alyson Klein that he would use stimulus money under his discretion to support efforts to increase the rigor of a state’s standards. But his comments to ACE suggests he’ll be pushing the issue in any reauthorization that happens under his watch.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.