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I can see that.

Instead of helping each kid reach his/her potential (at whatever level the kid is capable of), we're shoving them into boxes.

But how do we try to create some kind of continuity between teachers/schools/districts/etc without standards?

You have to have some form of measurements, just another name for standards.

mabye stop social promotion. Group kids in "ability" groups so they can be taught at the proper level according to ability and needs. (Not sure that this is much different than splitting up kids by grade - why to we have grade-levels?) Why not just promote to the next learning level as you achieve the "standard" necessary to move up. You may be with you own age group in English, older students with math, and younger students with social studies, but you are then learn the content you are ready to learn.

I am not familiar with other countries. does everyone move up by age level? Do they use "ability groups"? Do they have a better way of dealing with kids on the extremes?

When I was in junior high, my geeky friend was taking advanced calculus. He took a bus the to the high school to get that class, then came back for his "regular" classes. He was lucky to have a school district that would do that, but that takes a lot of dedication and desire on the parts of many people. Very easy to say that it is "too hard".
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