Peter Greene here makes a case for “vagueness” and against national and state standards.

“I am opposed to national or state standards. I recognize that in this I am a bit out there, and I recognize that reasonable people can believe that state and federal standards would be a good idea. I just don’t agree.

“However, I am not an advocate of completely unstructured wandering classrooms. You should know why you’re teaching what you’re teaching; you should have goals and objectives in teaching that material. So, no– I’m not lobbying for the Classroom of Do As You Please.

“Also, feel free to insert “in my opinion” in front of all the following.

“That said…

“The kind of laser-sharp focus advocated by some educational folks gives me the creeps.

“Sitting a department down to say, “We’re going to figure out how we can all teach exactly the same things for exactly the same purposes aimed at exactly the same outcomes,” diminishes the professionalism of the people in the room and does not serve the education of their students.

“Laser-sharp focus on a single objective is a bad idea, a stultifying limiting idea. I say this not just as an education viewpoint, but a life viewpoint. People who focus on one single objective are the people who throw away gold because they were focused, laser-like, on digging up diamonds. Yes, some of them find diamond mines, but mostly they barrel through a lot of other human beings and riches of another kind because of their laser-like focus.

“Laser-like focus also encourages you to view every deviation from the path as a crisis, a sign of impending disaster, instead of an opportunity. Laser-like focus fosters high-strung panic instead of sparkling improvisation.”