The reality of our current political situation is that we have a socially conservative, obstructionist Southern regional party and everyone else. I don't see how we're going to get to national standards in that climate. The problem is, however, a good distraction though for people who might otherwise find more effective ways to screw up public education.
I'd say I underestimated the collateral damage they managed to create -- particularly through a media blitz for the standards that focused on half-baked pedagogical hobby horses -- informational texts! close reading for six year olds! -- rather than the standards themselves.