NHPR is discussing Common Core Standards as I write this, with reference to what will bring us up to par with other "industrialised nations." They are talking about whether the devotion to local control is an obstacle, questions of whether teachers can adapt to it quickly, highlighting the importance of math and the new rigor this will bring.
They are discussing every interesting question except the one that actually drives the numbers that they will look to to see if it is working: racial/ethnic differences. I would like to think that they will someday wish to look for the car keys where they were lost instead of where the light is better, and that they can't look at the reality because they don't want certain truths to be true, because they are kindly disposed, decent-minded people who don't want anyone to feel bad, or that they can't make it just like everyone else on the inspirational posters.
There is a darker interpretation that is at least possible, however. They like talking about problems and being clever, not actually solving problems to help the unfortunate. This preserves jobs for their tribe in a general way. There are two serious precedents for this that we already know exist: the art world, in which "having a conversation" (perfect word) about what art means, or how people relate to art, or any of the other idiotic, vacuous excuses people have for being irritating with talent is taken as something real; and professorships in many college fields, but some in particular, which exist, if you grab them by the collar and force it out of them, mostly to exist, and feed off real learning in parasitic fashion.
So it's not impossible, It's happened already. I fear that the voices on NPR have the circular purpose of insuring that NPR-like conversations continue to occur as a paid item.