Mike tells me (as he runs out the door to catch a flight) that he's already answered my question about standards and tests thusly:
Particularly if all schools work toward common statewide academic standards, and thus have some degree of sameness when it comes to the content of what kids are learning, allowing them to differentiate when it comes to their approaches to discipline, school culture, the celebration of holidays, extra-curricular activities, etc., doesn't seem like such a tragedy. And if my wife and I, as parents, don't like the trendy, eco-friendly, ultra-PC ethos of my local Takoma Park school (we have another 4 ?? years to decide), then we can always, well, move.
Maybe. Wouldn't segmented schools, though, want freedom to innovate in all areas (i.e., standards, curriculum), and not only the tangential stuff? I wonder if the lines Mike draws are possible to maintain.