Wiki Response 08: Developments in Science Curriculum
I am favor of the movement towards national standards, particularly in math and science. Using the same reasoning of uniformity and equity for students across a particular state, why not extend that logic to cover all students across all our 50 states? To continue the comparison with the Chinese education system, they don't have separate and different learning standards/benchmarks for every province, but they work under a centralized/national system of expectations for achievement.
Professional and intellectual groups such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Teachers' Association, and the National Research Council already have a profound impact at the local and state levels because practitioners and leaders in education already subscribe to their vision and goals, study their publications/materials, and otherwise inform their practice based on studies or recommendations from such highly-regarded organizations. It would make sense that policy-makers at the state level can also guide the decisions that impact the future of so many of its young citizenry based on recommendations from the same professional and intellectual organizations.
The movement toward a set of national standards will not be easy as representatives from all 50 states will have to come together in consensus, but also because it requires a fundamental shift in how education policy is handled, as the US Constitution delegates educational decisions to the each state.