With many states working together, we can greatly reduce the inefficiency of separate state standards, and yet not risk the gridlock so common to federal efforts.
Once the standards are defined, other benefits seem nearly certain to follow.
For example, groups of states may be able to share a single accountability test if their standards fully match. Even if they have a few differences, they may be able to share a pool of well-crafted test items. Overall, states may be able to get something close to the "off-the-shelf" price for assessments that fit their expectations as well as current customized editions that often cost noticably more.
As related possibilities:
- Excellent approaches to teacher preparation and professional development may find a wider market and attract more innovative providers.
- Technology applications to teach key concepts should also grow more quickly when designers can see which topics many states want to address at each grade level.
- Classroom assessment methods--so important for guiding students' learning and teachers' planning--may also develop in stronger directions once a single design can fit the goals set in many different jurisdictions.