You're right Bart. The problems with education are multi-facetted. Four facets to be exact: 1) the parents stink 2) the kids stink 3) the teachers stink and 4) the administrators stink (60% of them are coaches for gosh sake).
In 10 years the Standards will disappear like all other previous reforms; but they will leave something behind. If nothing else, having the Standards around forces you to reevalute what you're doing. Also, a lot of good teaching material will be left behind to pick over.
Several years ago I read of a woman who went to Japan to study the "way" the Japanese got such (supposedly) good results from their math students. She wanted to see what their method was since even the ordinary kid over there takes calculus. What she found was a different teaching approach in every school she visited. There wasn't any system, just motivated students.
Oh, by the way, I think I left off a facet: the professors who teach ed. classes don't smell so good either.