The Washington Post reports that several major education experts are calling for a national testing system. Experts are raising the call for national testing because several states are reporting student proficiency rates much higher than what the most respected national measures have found. This talk comes in the fifth year of the No Child Left Behind Act, which aims to hold public schools accountable for performance, but leaves it up to individual states to assess that performance. Because of this, the definition of “proficiency” varies from state to state. Diane Ravitch, a New York University professor who was an assistant U.S. education secretary under President George H.W. Bush, says: “The more discontented the public is with confusing and dumbed-down standards, the more politically feasible it will be to create national standards of achievement.” While the political obstacles to national testing are formidable, experts hope that the approaching presidential campaign, a congressional debate over the reauthorization of NCLB, and wide discrepancies between assessments will open the door the possibility of gaining some small steps toward the goal of national testing… (Note: This site requires free registration.)