Yesterday a panel of educators propose the institution  single standard for education in all  public schools. In light to these calls for a common standard (not a national standard),  it is necessary to point out that there is a fair amount of  critics on the proposal, and the interests that driven the common standard initiate. For instances,  read the following critical commentary on the idea of a common standard, as distinct of a national standard, posted  at the Education Policy Blog last January:

Alfie Kohn is one of the most cogent critics of much of what goes on in education. He is well known for his belief that eliminating homework and grades will lead to more and better learning. You can explore many of his ideas at his website.

He has a piece coming out in Education Week, of which he has a slightly expanded version at the website, which you can read in its entirety here. Consider this paragraph from the middle of the piece:

Are all kids entitled to a great education? Of course. But that doesn’t mean all kids should get the same education. High standards don’t require common standards. Uniformity is not the same thing as excellence – or equity. (In fact, one-size-fits-all demands may offer the illusion of fairness, setting back the cause of genuine equity.) To acknowledge these simple truths is to watch the rationale for national standards – or uniform state standards — collapse into a heap of intellectual rubble.

First let me clarify something. What Kohn is addressing is NOT the US Department of Education mandating a national standard. Rather is an effort being pushed by a number of organizations, starting with the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, to come up with COMMON standards across all states. This is known as The Common Core State Standards Initiative. A number of people have noted that those most involved in drafting these “standards” do NOT included practicing or recent classroom teachers, have far too many people from testing companies, and are being drafted with little consideration to some basic understanding of the nature of teaching and learning, to wit – that not all students learn all subjects at the same rate. (read full)

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