The ironies of creating “equitable” educational standards


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Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently signed a law eliminating the requirement that high school graduates be able to demonstrate an ability to read, do math, and write at a high school level. Proponents of the law claim it would promote “equitable graduation standards” that will benefit Oregon’s students of color.

In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by Rick Hess, a Senior Fellow and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Rick explains that schools across the country have an obligation to ensure that all of our children—no matter their socioeconomic background or race and ethnicity—have the basic skills for successful citizenship. He also observes that just two decades ago, policymakers on both sides believed that we were not doing low-income or minority students any favors by ignoring educational deficiencies.


When educational equity descends into educational nihilism | Rick Hess | Education Week

Aim high: How can we prepare students of all races to achieve greatness? | Ian Rowe | Eduwonk

Show notes:

00:55 | What is Senate Bill 744 in Oregon?

03:30 | There used to be a bipartisan consensus in education

04:35 | How would Governor Brown explain this policy?

06:45 | Mediocrity in education is painless in the short-term but devastating in the long-term

12:45 | Which educational institutions are upholding legitimate academic standards?

15:05 | School boards still have a voice in shaping curriculums

52 episodes