In 2008, the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve, Inc., released a report, Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-class Education.
The Gates and GE foundations funded the report.
The content of this report begs for careful examination. Thus, I plan to examine it closely in a series of posts. This first posts centers upon certain economic issues raised by the assumptions in the report, which happen to connect to the title term, “benchmarking.”
According to the authors, the “benchmarking” idea must go beyond the definition in American education (“comparing performance outcomes” or “setting performance targets”) and must consider the business definition, which happens to correspond to the “competitive” definition of “benchmarking” in education in other countries (“identifying top performers or fast improvers, learning how they achieve great results, and applying those lessons to improve one’s own performance”).
In other words, I learn from you, but I do so in order to beat you.
The purpose of the report was to promote a now-familiar spectrum of “education reforms,” including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In doing so, NGA, CCSSO, and Achieve assure America that our education system would then be “globally competitive”:
Five Steps Toward Building Globally Competitive Education Systems
Action 1: Upgrade state standards by adopting a common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts for grades K-12 to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to be globally competitive.
Action 2: Leverage states’ collective influence to ensure that textbooks, digital media, curricula, and assessments are aligned to internationally benchmarked The 2008 Common Core Sales Job: Part One | deutsch29: