I suggest that we need a much more flexible framework of standards perhaps more like the new science standards a framework of principles instead of atomized skills. Yes it'll be harder to show that students reach standards but then again all learning that is worth it is hard to measure.
Many voices call for mastery learning. I want to challenge that as well. Mastery is not enough, with many skills fluency is the next step. The point is that fluid performance "in the zone" or Flow is the key for expertise. Our goal should be not just for students that can do it, but for ones that can do it efficiently. It is a complex demand especially when discussing 21st century skills that can be demonstrated in so many alternative ways.