We should not be pursuing standardization since we have a century of evidence that it doesn’t work—and logic shows that standard doesn’t match our ideals as a free people—but we should be pursuing challenging opportunities for every child, which in no way stops us from creating a universal public education system that honors and embraces diverse paths to adulthood and autonomy for all children who enter the doorways of our schools.
Privileged adults of this world live diverse and autonomous lives outside of school. The current education reform movement appears more concerned with securing the diverse lives of those privileged than acknowledging the right to an autonomous and diverse life for all children in a society claiming to be free.
Standardization is dehumanizing–and ultimately un-American.
All music teachers should read this article by Paul Thomas and wake up to what is happening today in the continued march towards a federally-controlled education system. High stakes testing and "common-core" is (not so) slowly but surely stripping our schools of essential opportunities for students to flourish as individuals. Administrators will continue to be pressured to produce better test scores, and if you think those tests are ever going to include the arts...guess again.