Panel Releases National Standards for English and Math
A bunch of education muckety-mucks released its first draft of national standards last week.
According to an article in the New York Times, the proposed standards "could transform American education, replacing the patchwork of standards ranging from mediocre to world-class that have been written by local educators in every state."
I guess they believe they can cure all that ails public education with such an endeavor through this thing called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). I found it all rather amusing that my home state of Texas as well as Alaska, opted out of this standardized extravaganza.
The 60-plus page proposal is available for anyone to review and provide their opinion until Friday, April 2.
Now, I really don't want to sound like a naysayer, but let me just quote a little passage from the document:
"Students appreciate that the twenty-first-century classroom and workplace are settings in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives must learn and work together. Students actively seek to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds. They evaluate other points of view critically and constructively. Through reading great classic and contemporary works of literature representative of a variety of periods, cultures, and worldviews, students can vicariously inhabit worlds and have experiences much different than their own."
I don't know about you, but if I remember correctly, all of that sounds a lot like "gets along well with others" from my second grade report card.
Now, it's not that I'm opposed to standards. It's just that anytime we have a one size fits all approach in any business, but especially in the education business, things just tend not to fit anyone very well.
Again, I don't want to be a naysayer, but all this talk of standards this and standards that will eventually translate into more paperwork for this and that, new tests for this and that and special training for this and that.
And all of that, of course, will actually translate into less teaching for this and that which translates into less learning of this and that.