Bill Gates outlined a plan of action for legislators to adopt common education standards, which he claimed would help jump-start a sagging economy. “Difficult times can spark great reforms,” he stated, and the stimulus package funds present a great opportunity. With clear, consistent standards and robust data systems to evaluate teacher effectiveness, more students will have the chance to make the most of their lives.
When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better.