New national curriculum standards are just a starting point in reaching the Obama administration's goal of educating students who are better prepared for work and life, write three leading educators in this opinion article. They argue that standards can only be effective if curricula, lesson plans, tests and textbooks are revised along with on-the-job training for teachers. Forty-eight states are joining in the development of the new national "common-core" standards, but none is required to adopt them.

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