August 16, 2007- Washington Times -National standards ; The time is now for Washington to heed the call
President Bush just signed the America Competes Act, overwhelmingly approved by a bipartisan Congress pursuing a first- rate science and mathematics education for all children at a time when American youngsters lag behind many of their peers abroad. With the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act up for renewal, an essential next step is clear: Scrap the crazy-quilt pattern of wildly differing tests and proficiency thresholds that currently vary from state to state.
The core concepts of both bills are on the mark. Whether they're rich, poor, white, black, Hispanic, male, female or in any other category, all children deserve our very best efforts to teach them science and mathematics. Moreover, keeping America competitive will require tapping every potential talent pool and bringing them to the highest possible levels of achievement, which again points to the need for a coherent, uniform set of national science standards.