International Policy Center Home Page
Type: Public event

A Pathway to Common Education Standards

Date & time

Jan 26, 2009, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Ann Arbor, MI


The case for a national effort to create core standards grows stronger by the day. Currently, 50 states have 50 standards, and most states are setting the bar as low as possible in order to comply with the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements of NCLB. Half the states have set fourth-grade reading benchmarks so low that they fall beneath even the most basic level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. None of the highest performing nations in the world rely on such a patchwork system to create expectations and standards, and devise assessments, for its students. The U.S. is extraordinarily unique in its view that Algebra is different in Maine then it is in Mississippi. We need a more comprehensive national policy on education standards.


Governor Romer is the Chairman of Strong American Schools. He was formerly Superintendent of Schools for the Los Angeles Unified School District. As Superintendent, he focused resources and attention on instruction and construction of schools. He advocated ambitious literacy and math plans that included computer-based learning programs and teacher training. As a result, scores in elementary school reading and math were above the national levels for the first time in decades.

Romer was Governor of Colorado for three terms, from 1986 to 1998, becoming the nation's senior Democratic governor, and was the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1997 to 2000. He was vice chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, an information-age think tank that examines national political and policy issues, where he studied effective educational strategies and school reform initiatives.

He served as chair of the Educational Commission of the States and the National Education Goals Panel. Romer was a legal officer in the U.S. Air Force and practiced law in Colorado. Romer earned his law degree at the University of Colorado.