Dear Deborah, I will get back to you on another day about the strengths and dangers of a national curriculum. Today I want to initiate a conversation with you about President Obama’s education program. We previously discussed Secretary Arne Duncan's policy views, which frankly sounded identical to those of President Bush's secretary of education, Margaret Spellings. Now President Obama, in a speech on March 10 to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, has repeated the same views. The president said that his administration would support whatever works, without regard to whether the ideas are liberal or conservative. He then laid ...


Dear Diane, So we’re back at the thorniest issue—a national curriculum. The kind of “set” curriculum I like is one proposed and supported by the constituents of a particular school—like ours at Mission Hill or CPE/CPESS. Although, even ours was probably not sufficiently detailed for you. I’ve embraced a few other people’s favorites; I could live with some others; but, many I couldn’t. (My peculiarly inept rote memory may be a factor in some of my biases.) There are at least five assumptions that I suspect come into play for me. 1. Goals....


Dear Deborah, Last week, I attended three different conferences in Washington, D.C. Not something I like to do, as I really do hope to finish my book in a few months. One was the “21st-Century skills” panel at Common Core, which we discussed. Then there was a panel discussion of accountability, in connection with the release of a report called “The Accountability Illusion” by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. And, most recently, I participated in a day-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the National Assessment Governing Board. (Podcasts of this last event should be available at the NAGB ...


Dear Diane, Sometime I imagine “them” (the think-tankers) sitting up late at night inventing new titles for “reform” packages just to annoy people like you and me. There’s more interest of late in the name for the new NCLB than the contents of the bill! Ditto what passes for 21st Century skills. I can’t figure out who is on whose side, but they all seem quite happy to cheer each other on. What they—Ed Trust, Ed Sector, Heritage, Fordham, Klein, et al—seem to agree on is that everyone should follow the same path, that it should...


Dear Deborah, Since you brought up the subject of “21st Century skills,” it seemed like an opportune time to talk a bit about this subject. A week ago, I participated in a panel discussion on this topic, sponsored by an organization called Common Core in Washington, D.C.. Common Core was created to advocate for the liberal arts and sciences, particularly because of the pressure to spend more and more time emphasizing only reading and mathematics. After all, they are the only subjects that “count” for purposes of NCLB accountability, so supervisors and principals are demanding that teachers produce higher ...


The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments