This month the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute released Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Educational Innovation. The report focuses on what states are doing to prepare for future challenges, not on current performance. It grades states in eight categories, including management, finance, staffing, data, technology, and reform environment. “The conclusion of this report card is unambiguous; the states need to do a far better job of monitoring and delivering quality schooling,” authors find, adding that “the states’ current performance is unacceptable. …The academic performance of every state needs to improve. This is true for all demographic groups, but especially for poor and minority students, who have too often been ill-served by today’s schools.” Commenting on the report’s findings, Education Secretary Arne Duncan noted that “there’s a very compelling case for reforming public education at every level.” Likewise, study authors emphasized that “we need to fundamentally rethink how we provide education in this country” to “boost student achievement and thus help individual Americans achieve economic success and mobility in the 21st century workforce.” One recommendation notes that greater parental choice is a key to improved innovation and effectiveness in schools. “Choice does not ensure success. But by permitting experimentation and providing alternatives for students and families, choice creates opportunities for creative problem solving and customized approaches to meeting student needs. Thus, it is an essential proving ground for innovation” (p. 13). Hopefully, students’ needs will trump the political needs of adults.