Right now, all states are competing for federal education money. To do that, California has to adopt so-called “common standards” for English, math and other subjects, so it’s in sync with other states.

The problem is, California’s current standards are higher than what’s been adopted by other states. Critics say we’d be lowering the bar for our own students and that a one size fits all approach won’t fix our schools.

“California really does have excellent standards,” said David Plank, the executive director for Policy Analysis for California Education. “The real issue that we face in California is not which standards we adopt, but whether we deliver the kind of instruction and the quality of instruction to students that they need to meet those standards.”

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Plank says that isn’t happening now, which is why our public school performance is so low even though our expectations are high. The state board meets today to decide on the new standards.

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