When Captain Kirk waffled over whether to open relations with the Klingon Empire, Spock encouraged engagement by noting, "Only Nixon could go to China." Were the wise Vulcan advising education policymakers, his words would be much the same: "Only a true conservative can push national standards." And according to National Public Radio, that's exactly what's starting to occur. In a 6-minute piece on Morning Edition, reporter Larry Abramson compares Western countries such as France and Germany, where national exams exist, to the United States, which has an all but inscrutable hodge-podge of state standards and tests. But he says that where progressives such as Bill Clinton have failed to generate support for national testing, conservatives (such as our own Checker Finn) might just succeed. So we hope. Last winter commentators said we didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell to get national testing; now they see an "avalanche" of conservative support for the idea. Of course, neither view is accurate, but we don't mind the direction the forecast is heading.
"Conservatives Call for National Education Curriculum," by Larry Abramson, Morning Edition, January 1, 2007