Every level of government except for the federal government (state, county, and city) has the right to, and should, implement certain educational standards that primary school students are required to meet. However, the more local levels of government cannot weaken but are permitted to only strengthen standards set by higher levels of government. The federal government should be allowed to develop their own standards, but compliance among the states should be voluntary.
Consequently, the highest level of government (the federal government) must set the lowest standards. Federal standards or benchmarks should be set only to ensure basic, functional literacy in at least 90% of all subjects of study throughout the student’s primary (defined here as being from birth through 12th grade) education career. Students who do not meet this minimum requirement are not eligible for graduation and cannot receive a diploma.
Furthermore, the federal government should only implement one set of primary education standards to be met upon graduation from primary school. The federal government should not put forward any other sets of standards to be met upon completion of the 4th grade, the 8th grade or any other point before graduation from primary school. Of course, the federal government could publish guidelines indicating where students in every grade level should be academically in order to be on track towards meeting the federal standards upon graduation, but no punitive measures can be taken by the federal government if these guidelines are not met or followed.
Individual states, counties, cities and school districts could set and enforce as many standards as they want and they could test students as often as they would like.