Education has broad and diverse goals in our society; *free* and *appropriate* education is to be available for *all* learners. We educate learners who have many different needs and goals. We educate for society that recognizes many different needs and goals.
Despite this, a generation of students and teachers have heard that education is grounded in standards–which connotes “the same” education for all. The diversity of our learners and the diversity of the situations for which we are preparing them is contrary to the practice of standards in education.
If we claim to be individualizing or personalizing education, or even if we claim to be preparing learners for their futures, then we must rethink the role of standards in education. Surely, we can help learners become effective communicators, creative and critical thinkers, and responsible people without becoming standardized communicators and thinkers and people.