Standards vs. Customization:
Despite the current hype, this
face-off isn’t new. Standards and
customization have been battling
it out—and compromising—
for the past 100 years.
Consider the following dilemma, which has troubled educators for more than a century. Many practi- tioners (and the public) highly value standardizing curriculum and instruction for students. They believe that a uniform curriculum will lead to
improved test scores and higher graduation and college admission rates while closing achievement gaps between minorities
and whites. Common standards and instruction, they believe,
will produce equal opportunity—a value dear to most policymakers and educators, and to Americans in general.