NJ Left Behind points to a Fordham Foundation study reviewing state standards and comparing them to the Common Core - the closest thing yet we have to national standards. Common Core is based in math and language arts, which is out of my field so I don't have an opinion (yet - hey, it's a blog; what's the point if I can't opine on stuff I have no expertise in?).
Doesn't look like NJ does very well - and I've got to tell you, I'm not surprised. Having done a fair bit of curriculum writing in the arts over the years, I'd have to say the NJ standards in music, theater, dance, and visual arts are really awful. Tons about critique; very little about producing product. The Florida standards are a quantum leap better (Florida!).
And yet, here sits NJ, at the top of the pile in many measures of academic achievement. How important are these standards anyway? Just asking.
UPDATE: Maybe not very important at all.