Single Standard vs. Multiple Standards (Or Checker vs. Shanker)

Ze’ev Wurman & Bill Evers:

ome people who favor national standards have pointed to the variability among states as making comparisons difficult and have been quick to point to national standards and tests as a consistent, nationwide, uniform system to judge all schools in the same way. No one has been more outspoken on those points than the Fordham Institute, whose 2007 The Proficiency Illusion report was touted far and wide. It was followed in 2009 by another Fordham report, The Accountability Illusion, that took states to task not only for having distinct definitions of proficiency, but also with fuzzing the issue even more by playing with other NCLB accountability rules. Checker Finn came out on its publication declaring:
“This report’s crucial finding is that – contrary to what the average American likely believes – there is no common, nationwide accountability system for measuring school performance under NCLB. The AYP system is idiosyncratic, even random and opaque. Without a common standard to help determine whether a given school is successful or not, its fate under NCLB is determined by a set of arcane rules created by each state…”