By Neal McCluskey
Last week, national standards super-advocate Chester Finn called me “paranoid” for arguing that “common” curriculum standards states adopt in pursuit of federal money will somehow end up being federal and, as a result, bad. Well it seems that Jay Greene and I — the two paranoiacs Finn identified by name — are not alone. Here’s a roundup of some recent rantings from other realists Finn would no doubt accuse of wearing tinfoil helmets:
- The Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall, cutting through the joke of “voluntary” national-standards adoption and dispelling several of the shallow arguments trotted out by national-standards supporters.
- The Home School Legal Defense Association, warning that “as homeschoolers know, if the federal government funds something, the federal government is going to control it.”
- The Pacific Reasearch Institute’s Lance Izumi nailing the voluntarism deception; noting that national standards will have to be paired with national tests (indeed, they’re already in the works); and pointing out that the proposed national standards are likely worse than some state standards.
- Ben Boychuk of the Heartland Institute going after the big voluntarism lie and explaining how much worse a process national-standards setting is than was even the Texas Social Studies Standoff of 2010.
- The Pioneer Institutes Jim Stergios exposing the State of Massachusetts’ national-standards trickeration.
It looks like national-standards paranoia is starting to run kinda deep.