Opponents of national standards and tests see the push as furthering “federal intrusion into state education matters,” asserts the Wall Street Journal today.

While the standards have been touted as “voluntary” by proponents, the Obama Administration’s heavy promotion of the standards—tying Race to the Top dollars to a state’s adoption of the standards, by suggesting that federal Title I money for low-income schools could be tied to their adoption, and, most recently, by making No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers contingent upon a state’s adoption of common standards—makes them anything but “voluntary.”

And if these standards were simply an option on the table for states to pick up of their own volition, it’s curious that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would come down so forcefully—or at all—on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for expressing interest in steering away from adopting the standards.

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