Opinion
Education Opinion

National Standards -- Then Vs. Now

By Alexander Russo — January 18, 2007 1 min read

Voluntary National Testing Then

Supported by a still-popular 2nd term President (Clinton).

Debated as part of the annual approps process (FY97-98).

Supported by a popular EdSec (Riley).

Proposed right after a big Democratic win (’96).

Supported by business (Biz Roundtable & US Chamber).

Supported by several states & districts (7 or so, as I recall).

Voluntary National Standards Now

Supported by a long-shot Presidential candidate (Dodd).

Proposed as part of reauthorization of an unpopular law (NCLB).

Proposed by a group not in favor with their own party (Fordham).

Opposed by an unpopular EdSec (Spellings).

Proposed right after a big Republican loss (’06).

Supported by the NEA & Others (to scuttle NCLB).

Not supported by any states or districts.

For those of you who may not have been there, here are some helpful EdWeek archives from that period:

01/28/98 National Panel Delays Clinton’s Proposed Voluntary Tests
02/19/97 Focus on Basics Key to Clinton Call for Testing
03/12/97 State Officials Seek Flexibility, Regulatory Relief
03/12/97 Clinton Teacher Board Proposal Marks Milestone
02/19/97 Political Shift Emboldens Clinton To Urge Tests
09/24/97 Education Liberty Bonds
09/30/98 Panel Assails Assessment Calculations
11/19/97 Test Proposal To Be Tested by Experts
05/07/97 The Splintered Curriculum
05/28/97 Clinton Hopes Test Proposal Would Be Only the Beginning
04/09/97 Stumping for Standards
02/11/98 Waging a War on Incivility
10/22/97 National Tests, Title I at Odds on Language
06/17/98 Panel Finds No Tests Comparable to Ones Clinton Espouses
06/25/97 Local Control Could Stymie Clinton Tests

The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.