From the NPR broadcast (transcript here) Dr.Russ Whitehurst from the Brookings Institute has studied the correlation between standards and student performance.
Dr. RUSS WHITEHURST (Director, Brown Center on Education Policy, Brookings Institution): You can find high standards, high achievement states and low standards, high achievement states. You can find high standards, low achievement states. There's just no statistical relationship between the quality of state standards and student achievement.So there is absolutely NO correlation between standards and performance. Andrew Coulson writes about the same issue over at Pajamas Media. His last paragraph says it all:
Public schools face no such pressures, and so we have the dominance of age-based grading — and now the push for homogenizing national standards. These may make life simpler for schools. They do not serve the educational needs of children.The country's educational system is already messed up enough thanks to help from the federal government and homogenization of standards within the colleges of education. Combine that with the facts that I've stated before--that having people who know HOW to teach but not WHAT to teach with the self-esteem is more important than knowledge crowd and we have a dysfunctional system that is not going to be made any better with more meddling.