Democracy is like herding cats – and so is education reform. As America’s public schools consider new common standards in subjects such as math and language arts, it’s time to act on these standards while the cats are all in the same room, the Christian Science Monitor reports. So far, 47 states have signed on to the “common core state standards” launched in 2009 by the National Governors Association. The standards would ensure uniformity in what’s taught in every classroom and what’s expected of every student nationwide. Each grade level would work toward the same goals, instead of experiencing educational chaos – thousands of different goals and curricula. But even an extraordinary commitment such as this – which also has the backing of the two main teachers unions as well as Republicans and Democrats from Main St. to Pennsylvania Ave. – can disappear when the chalk hits the chalkboard. It can face resistance, indifference, or simply fall beneath other priorities…

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staff and wire services reports