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The Secret Sixty Prepare to Write Standards for 50 Million


Sixty individuals, ONE teacher among them, will write national education standards in the next five months, in a secret process that excludes effective input from students, parents or teachers.

As teachers we spend a lot of time thinking about what we teach our students, and how to engage them in learning. When the National Governor's Association (NGA) called for national education standards a few months back, some educators optimistically believed that we might be consulted in the process. After all, didn't the entire No Child Left Behind fiasco teach us what happens when policies are enacted without the active engagement of the professionals expected to carry them out?

However, I had a sinking feeling history might repeat itself, when I wrote this entry a few weeks back.

Now the other shoe has dropped. On Wednesday, the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released their plan for developing national standards for Mathematics and English.

They propose a process that will result in new national K-12 standards by next December, and launched a new website where we can watch the magic unfold. They also released the names of those on the Mathematics and English "Work Groups" that will draft the standards, and the "Feedback Groups" who will advise them once drafts have been offered. We are informed that "The Work Group's deliberations will be confidential throughout the process." As far as public input, "States and national education organizations will have an opportunity to review and provide evidence-based feedback on the draft documents throughout the process." There does not appear to be any avenue for the public at large, students, parents or teachers to provide direct input.

So who makes up the two Work Groups? Of the 25 individuals on the two teams, (four people are on both) six are associated with the test-makers from the College Board, five are with fellow test-publishers ACT, and four are with Achieve. Zero teachers are on either Work Group. The Feedback Groups have 35 participants, almost all of whom are university professors. There appears to be exactly one classroom teacher involved in the entire process, on one of the Feedback Groups.

I am not personally or professionally acquainted with the sixty people who are being handed the power to determine the curriculum for our nation's fifty million school children. But I know I have had zero say in selecting them, and there appears to be no opportunity for teachers to influence or even observe this process.

Dane Linn, one of the leaders of this project, states in a recent interview "...if we can leverage resources from state to state -- for example, on student assessments -- we can stop spending the approximately $700 million we are spending collectively and reach an economy of scale that is not obtainable in one state alone." This sets the stage for a national test, which presumably can be used in conjunction with No Child Left Behind to compare schools, teachers and students from coast to coast. Furthermore, the agreement reached by the NGA with the 49 states that signed on pledges that the national standards will not be "lower" than those of any state. You should be aware that current California math standards call for Algebra in the 8th grade, so that presumably will become national policy by fiat.

One might expect our newspapers to be champions of a democratic process. But my own newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote last month that secrecy in this project is "... a wise decision. A truly open process would result in the experts being lobbied by countless interest groups, and - given the still-controversial nature of national standards - it could torpedo the plan altogether."

Heaven forbid "interest groups" such as teachers, parents and students should be given the opportunity to muck up these standards. They do not seem to be asking, but perhaps our first bit of input could be in the form of a collective howl of outrage. After the dismal failure of NCLB, which was caused in no small part by the exclusion of classroom teachers from its design, how can we launch another major reform effort in a similar way?

Teachers have a deep understanding of what is possible in a classroom. When academics, policy wonks and testing experts get together to write standards, they often leave reality behind. We experienced this first-hand in California, where we have highly prescriptive content standards that were drafted by such people, without the participation of teachers.

Would standards for the practice of medicine be written without the participation of doctors? Standards for the practice of law without lawyers? It is not only insulting, it is undemocratic and counterproductive in the extreme.

And how about students? We have made the schools all about passing the tests, and now a small group is poised to decide, over the next six months, what will be on the tests across the country in a few years? Shouldn't this be the result of some broader dialogue, including our students?

I think we need to make our voices heard loud and clear on this. What do you think?

Update #1: Education activist Susan Ohanian has launched a new website: Stop National Standards.

Update # 2: Take a look at this short film featuring scholar Yong Zhao's critique of the drive towards standardization.

Update # 3: This press release from the National Governor's Association shows the individuals on the original team tasked with writing the standards.

By the way, here is contact information for the directors of the two organizations responsible for this process. And perhaps your governor and state superintendent of education might want to know what you think as well:

Mr. Ray Scheppach
Executive Director
National Governors Association
Hall of the States
444 North Capitol Street
Suite 267
Washington, DC 20001-1512

Mr. Gene Wilhoit
Executive Director
Council of Chief State School Officers
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20001-1431


I think it's important to note that all teachers (including the Teachers of the Year celebrated by the CSSO)are being shunned in this so-called standards process. Is there a logical reason why those teachers and administrators who have repeatedly and consistently demonstrated effectiveness in teaching all students at high levels should NOT be a part of developing the standards that will be put forward for all our children?

I also like your point that parents and students should be included as well. It makes the intentions of this group highly suspect; but then we are talking about a group of politicans (governors and superintendents); some of whom were even opposed to the children in their states getting help from the stimulus funds.

I am not a teacher in the classroom, but I don't have to be one to arrive at the (I think) logical conclusion that teachers should have a significant part to play in this process. After all, they're the group that will actually be teaching to the new standards and it seems that their input would be invaluable.

Thank you for bringing this issue to a wide audience! I have been searching the web looking for an application process to become part of the group working on the standards (I've been on the Virginia state standards test committees for HS reading and writing).

It is one more slap in the face to teachers as professionals that none of us have been invited to participate, yet meanwhile Arne Duncan is proclaiming in the LA Times that schools and teachers will be part of the process of change because he doesn't want to be "top down". Actions speak louder than words in this case.

It is also suspect that so many people working at for-profit companies, like ACT and ETS/College Board, have been placed on the committees.

Why not tap into the hard-won collective wisdom at the state level, where we have all developed and implemented standards over the past 8-10 years? Why not invite teachers to apply? Why not give those of us who actually work in classrooms a voice?

It sounds like Mr. Duncan doesn't respect teachers quite as much as he says he does. It also sounds like an even stricter version of NCLB: imposing standards and testing on schools to make sure we are doing our jobs rather than inviting us as professionals to be part of the process.

The adoption of national standards represents a huge change in the way education is run in America. Without building wide support among teachers and parents, this project won't get off the ground and won't be the best thing for the students.

We teachers will always be seen as replaceable plug-ins; tell 'em what to teach and we teach what we've been told. If you don't, we'll replace you... after all, everyone knows it doesn't take any skill to be a teacher. And as for the "national curriculum", say goodbye to creativity, to tangential learning, to depth, to quality. Teach to the test and DON'T deviate! Who's going to develop this? Representatives from testing companies... yep, schools are cash cows, you know.
We need to kill this immediately.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This angers and saddens me. So much for change we can believe in.

I am also a NBCT, and find it VERY disturbing that no one is representing elementary/early childhood teachers, as is the usual practice. Teachers are on the front lines, and should have an opportunity to present feedback/serve on this committee. Why is it that to be considered an "important" stakeholder, one has to be working at the college level? Sad, just really sad...

I am a NBCT and my wife completed hers this past year as well. There are many issues education is facing and we strongly agree that quality teachers (NBCT or otherwise), should be at the heart of such important decisions. Too many decisions made by bureaucrats and college professors center around test score accountability instead of educating young people to be happy, productive employees, social contributors, personal empowerment good health and so forth. I fear that without wise educators who "live" in the classroom such decisions will be quite unacceptable. How do we help steer such important decisions?

I am also a NBCT. First thanks for having this blog and bringing this information to life. I would like to piggyback on Janet's comments about elementary education and how we early ed teachers are left out of being stake holders. We are just as educated and informed if not more about building strong scaffolds for a child's future educational career. With out us kids wouldn't be ale to read the classics or do the 8th grade algebra. I for one will be writing Jack O'Connell, Ray Scheppach, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Gene Wilhoit letting them know that more teachers need to be added to the National Standards committee.

It sounds like the people making out on this deal are the test-makers. What a shame for the children in America.


Mr. Cody:

Thank you for the information and the dialog. I am a licensed teacher in the State of Wisconsin and concerned about the issue(s)you raised. I have participated in the WKCE descriptive writings for state testing in Wisconsin and have some knowledge about the process. However, I am alarmed about the implications the issues you have raised wil create. Interested bloggers on your site and others may want to consider sharing their thoughts about this matter with the National Educational Association(NEA)at the Federal level. Educators do and should have a voice on what is being proposed by the NGA and CCSSO who is charged with conceptionalizing and writing national standards specific to reading and mathematics. I also think the approach educators (e.g., teachers, diagnostic teachers, literacy coaches, curriculum generalists, guidance counselors, and speech pathologists),
should take is that of proaction vs. reaction. It's an opportunity to invite the public in for the purpose to educate them on the process as well as promote transparency of the process.

I am NBCT and this concerns me that persons not in the classroom are having a major voice in this process. There are so many great comments that need to be heard be the higher ups.

I guess the leaders of this nation have learned NOTHING from NCLB. I appreciate the contact info for the 2 people in charge, but is there a phone or email for either of them?? I am a NBCT in special education and would like to see some standards for our population as well. It is SERIOUSLY time to stand up and be heard. One bad thing about teachers is we are too nice and don't like to upset people. I think it's time to ruffle some feathers before we end up like chicken with our heads cut off!!

Hi. I agree with your comments, but would like to put this up for consideration. It's from the corestandards.org site, I believe. My main concern, after looking at the standards at the Achieve, Inc. site, is that they're no more clear or measurable than anything I've seen yet from MCREL, the National Councils of Teachers, the NAEP, etc. So how is this supposed to help our students? We're still teaching them how to bake apple pies, and then testing them on how well they cook up an omelette:

The Standards Development Work Group is currently engaged in determining and writing the college and career readiness standards in English-language arts and mathematics. This group is composed of content experts from Achieve, Inc., ACT, and the College Board. This group will be expanded later in the year to include additional experts to develop the standards for grades K-12 in English language arts and mathematics. Additionally, CCSSO and the NGA Center have selected an independent facilitator and an independent writer as well as resource advisors to support each content area work group throughout the standards development process. The Work Group’s deliberations will be confidential throughout the process. States and national education organizations will have an opportunity to review and provide evidence-based feedback on the draft documents throughout the process.

The members of the mathematics Work Group are:

Sara Clough, Director, Elementary and Secondary School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.
Phil Daro, Senior Fellow, America’s Choice
Susan K. Eddins, Educational Consultant, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (Retired)
Kaye Forgione, Senior Associate and Team Leader for Mathematics, Achieve
John Kraman, Associate Director, Research, Achieve
Marci Ladd, Mathematics Consultant, The College Board & Senior Manager and Mathematics Content Lead, Academic Benchmarks
William McCallum, University Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Mathematics, The University of Arizona &Mathematics Consultant, Achieve
Sherri Miller, Assistant Vice President, Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.
Ken Mullen, Senior Program Development Associate—Mathematics, Elementary and Secondary School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.
Robin O’Callaghan, Senior Director, Mathematics, Research and Development, The College Board
Andrew Schwartz, Assessment Manager, Research and Development, The College Board
Laura McGiffert Slover, Vice President, Content and Policy Research, Achieve
Douglas Sovde, Senior Associate, Mathematics, Achieve
Natasha Vasavada, Senior Director, Standards and Curriculum Alignment Services, Research and Development, The College Board
Jason Zimba, Faculty Member, Physics, Mathematics, and the Center for the Advancement of Public Action, Bennington College and Cofounder, Student Achievement Partners

Members of the English-language Arts Work Group are:

Sara Clough, Director, Elementary and Secondary School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.
David Coleman, Founder, Student Achievement Partners
Sally Hampton, Senior Fellow for Literacy, America's Choice
Joel Harris, Director, English Language Arts Curriculum and Standards, Research and Development, The College Board
Beth Hart, Senior Assessment Specialist, Research and Development, The College Board
John Kraman, Associate Director, Research, Achieve
Laura McGiffert Slover, Vice President, Content and Policy Research, Achieve
Nina Metzner, Senior Test Development Associate—Language Arts, Elementary and Secondary School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.
Sherri Miller, Assistant Vice President, Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.
Sandy Murphy, Professor Emeritus, University of California – Davis
Jim Patterson, Senior Program Development Associate—Language Arts, Elementary and Secondary School Programs, Development, Education Division, ACT, Inc.
Sue Pimentel, Co-Founder, StandardsWork; English Language Arts Consultant, Achieve
Natasha Vasavada, Senior Director, Standards and Curriculum Alignment Services, Research and Development, The College Board
Martha Vockley, Principal and Founder, VockleyLang, LLC
Also, as a step in the standards development process, the NGA Center and CCSSO are overseeing the work of a Feedback Group. The role of this Feedback Group is to provide information backed by research to inform the standards development process by offering expert input on draft documents. Final decisions regarding the common core standards document will be made by the Standards Development Work Group. The Feedback Group will play an advisory role, not a decision-making role in the process.

Members of the mathematics Feedback Group are:

George Andrews, The Pennsylvania State University, Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics
Hyman Bass, University of Michigan, Samuel Eilenberg Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics & Mathematics Education
David Bressoud, Macalester College, DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics & President, Mathematical Association of America
John Dossey, Illinois State University, Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics Emeritus
Scott Eddins, Tennessee Department of Education, Mathematics Coordinator & President, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM)
Brian Gong, The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Executive Director
Roger Howe, Yale University, Professor of Mathematics
Henry S. Kepner, Jr., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Professor, Curriculum & Instruction and Mathematical Sciences
Suzanne Lane, University of Pittsburgh, Professor in the Research Methodology Program, School of Education
Robert Linn, University of Colorado, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Co-Director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST)
Jim Milgram, Stanford University, Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, Department of Mathematics
Fabio Milner, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University, Director, Mathematics for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
Roxy Peck, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Associate Dean, College of Science and Mathematics and Professor of Statistics
Nora Ramirez, TODOS: Mathematics for ALL, President
William Schmidt, Michigan State University, College of Education, University Distinguished Professor
Uri Treisman, University of Texas, Professor of Mathematics and Public Affairs & Executive Director, Charles A. Dana Center
Vern Williams, Mathematics Teacher, HW Longfellow Middle School, Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools
W. Stephen Wilson, Johns Hopkins University, Professor of Mathematics
Members of the English-language Arts Feedback Group are:

Peter Afflerbach, University of Maryland, Professor
Arthur Applebee, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor & Chair, Department of Educational Theory & Practice, School of Education
Mark Bauerlein, Emory University, Professor of English
Mary Bozik, University of Northern Iowa, Professor, Communication Studies
Don Deshler, University of Kansas, Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education & Director, Center for Research on Learning
Checker Finn, Fordham Institute Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University & President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Brian Gong, The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Executive Director
Carol Jago, University of California – Los Angeles, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) President-Elect, California Reading and Literature Project
Jeanneine Jones, University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Professor
Michael Kamil, Stanford University, Professor, School of Education
Suzanne Lane, University of Pittsburgh, Professor in the Research Methodology Program, School of Education
Carol Lee, Northwestern University, Professor of Education and Social Policy
Robert Linn, University of Colorado, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Co-Director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST)
Dolores Perin, Columbia University, Associate Professor of Psychology and Education
Tim Shanahan, University of Illinois at Chicago, Professor, Urban Education
Catherine Snow, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor
Doranna Tindle, Friendship Public Charter Schools, Instructional Performance Coach
The final step in the development of these standards is the creation of an expert Validation Committee comprised of national and international experts on standards. This group will review the process and substance of the common core state standards to ensure they are research and evidence-based and will validate state adoption on the common core standards. Members of the committee will be selected by governors and chiefs of the participating states; nominations are forthcoming.

Additionally, the NGA Center and CCSSO have formed a National Policy Forum of education experts to share ideas, gather input and inform the common core state standards initiative. This forum is intended as a way to establish a shared understanding of the scope and elements of the common core state standards initiative and coordinate implementation and adoption.

Thank you for including parents voices as needing to be heard. Our family has been working for over a year to raise awareness of a shocking Children's Civil Rights INEQUALITY that currently exists in 21st Century Classrooms, namely, Physical (Corporal) Punishment of Children in SCHOOLS, still legal and practiced in 21 states. It is ILLEGAL in 29 states to hit a child with a wooden paddle in SCHOOLS! Corporal Punishment is the deliberate infliction of physical, psychological (fear) and emotional (humiliation) pain and suffering intended to PUNISH SCHOOLCHILDREN. Over 50 National Health and Education Organizations have issued Official Position Statements Opposing Physical (Corporal) Punishment of Children in SCHOOLS. Hitting children teaches them by powerfully modeling poor behavior that physical assault/violence is the acceptable way to solve problems and creates the opposite of the desired effect of respect, negative outcomes by children, loss of trust, withdrawal, disengagement, anger, retaliation. The federal and state governments must take immediate action to ABOLISH Corporal Punishment of ALL Children in ALL American Schools!

I wish I could say this surprises me but it doesn't. Years ago I heard a radio interview with one of the representatives from Georgia. In the interview he said "putting teachers in charge of educational reform is like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house." Unfortunately, I believe his statement reflects the attitude of many politicians toward teachers. What they don't realize is that educational reform begins in the classroom even though it may be pushed from the outside. Without teacher buy-in, reform isn't likely to be effective.

I appreciate the insights of both Mr. Cody and the others who have commented. I, too, am disturbed by the secret nature of this task. I have been trying to keep an open mind about national standards and some of the other reforms proposed by our new Secretary of Education, but I'm having trouble buying into it all for exactly these reasons. Why would the groups writing these standards not want teacher input? To revise the "wolf in charge of the henhouse" analogy, if education reform is the henhouse, and our students are the hens, the standards are the chicken feed and water that nourish the hens and the teachers are the farmers who provide it. It's pretty pointless to have a henhouse if there is no farmer to feed them!

After 22 years of teaching, I've come to the conclusion that much of the reason we teachers get into these predicaments--where others are making the policies and writing the curricula and standards AND TESTS without our input--is because the majority of us do not speak out when and where we should. Until we collectively view ourselves as professionals and experts, until we communicate to our communities and leaders the expertise it takes to do our jobs, until we expect others to value and respond to our expert opinions, we will continue to be left out or deliberately excluded from the process.

We no longer have a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."
Abraham Lincoln is turning over in his grave....

I am confused. Upon doing a little research, I found the following link that seems to provide existing national standards. SO, do we currently have national standards, or not?!?! http://www.education-world.com/standards/national/toc/index.shtml

That is an excellent question.

Back in the 1990s, various content organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offered up what they called National Standards. I believe those various standards are what are provided on the site to which you have linked.

I think I could say that these standards tend to be popular among educators. Teacher-led organizations played a strong role in their development, for the most part. They have been used in the design of curriculum across the country, but they have not, so far as I know, been "adopted" or given official weight across the country.

The thing that makes standards have consequences is when they are adopted by a state as the official learning objectives. Then publishers are instructed that their texts must address them, and the test designers must come up with tests to measure if students have learned them. That has NOT happened with the various standards to which you linked.

The NGA and CCSSO are planning to offer such standards, which could then be adopted across the country (and 49 states have signed up so far). We would then have a national curriculum and a national test so all students, teachers and schools could be compared using a single yardstick.

Interesting discussion. Kudos to NGA for initiating a coordinated effort to fulfill their individual sworn duties to oversee education in their separate states. What puzzles me is what teachers think we can offer that the NGA committee does not already know and have access to data about it?

If I were to have the hubris necessary to think that I could design appropriate standards for every school in this wide nation, I would want to have some very particular information. I would want to know how to inspire the highest level of engagement and excitement possible from students at every age level. I would want to know what topics and approaches would be best, and I would want to know how to develop those themes from one grade level to the next so as to build interest, skills and understanding.

Teachers spend their working lives responding first and foremost to the children in their care. They are responsible for taking whatever standards and curriculum that are decided upon elsewhere and making them come to life in the minds of their students. They understand, in a way that few academics, policymakers or test writers do, how to engage students in the learning process. Furthermore, they have learned through firsthand experience, the ways to make learning accessible to the largest number of students. These insights should be closely consulted in deciding what learning objectives are appropriate for each grade level of students.

Furthermore, effective implementation of standards depends on the active engagement of the teaching profession. How can reform that depends on this succeed when the first step down the path all but ignores this constituency?

I accept your points, Anthony. At the same time I continue to wonder:

What's wrong with governors establishing their own standards as a way to measure external validity of academic performance of students within and between states? They, as do teachers, already know what's possible for students to accomplish and that current measured academic performances falls far short.

Why not accept work by people such as those listed by Nancy Merrill Sayed? Most of them likely have classroom teaching experience before they received their various appointments. Plus, they can always check teacher suggestions on the Internet.

And finally, what academic performance standards will teachers identify to complement or compete with those of the NGA? I think you would be an excellent teacher to draw up a list and offer it online for other teachers to add, refine, etc. while the NGA staff and committee members do their work. You never know who might read that list and accept some of its items.


Thank you for accepting my points.

You offer a lot of premises which my experiences lead me to doubt.

1. "They [governors], as do teachers, already know what's possible for students to accomplish and that current measured academic performances falls far short."

I have very little confidence, based on what I have seen in California, that governors have this special knowledge. For example, our governor believes all 8th grade students should be placed in Algebra classes, regardless of the preparation they have received or the skills they possess.

I believe teachers have much better information about this than do governors.

2. "most of them [the secret 60] likely have classroom experience..."

I have no idea if they have classroom experience and am not sure how you arrive at this conjecture. Furthermore, such experience becomes stale quickly. We need to tap people expert in the children of today to design the standards and lessons for our future.

3. "what academic performance standards will teachers identify to complement or compete with those of the NGA?"

The premise here is that up to this point teachers have been unwilling or unable to offer standards. In fact, as has been pointed out here and elsewhere, many strong organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offered well-thought out standards back in the 1990's. I believe that if the governors were to honor this work and bring these educators together to work on new national standards, in cooperation with others from around the country, teachers would have a very different attitude about this whole initiative.

Your points make sense, Anthony. You may be right. Based on my experience, here's a sample of support for the points I offered.

1. They already know: Data and opinions about teacher views are ubiquitous online and in schools. Comprehensive, probably not; representative, likely. Also, likely, most people associated with education through practice and politics know, or can know, about the extraordinary results of Project Follow-Through, the largest empirical experimental study of teaching-learning and its contribution to NCLB. For whatever reasons, teachers do not use procedures that yielded these results.

2. Classroom experience: A prerequisite for many if not most of the education professional appointments on the list includes classroom teaching. While particulars of a classroom may change over time, limited and non-conclusive empirical evidence (vs. theories, beliefs, etc.) exists to indicate that how people learn has changed.

3. Teacher suggested standards: We agree that these do not exist in a single list. It's difficult to identify by inference from opinions and beliefs what incumbent teachers want as student academic performance standards.

Student academic performance tandards will likely exist as an external validity measure. The teacher input you suggest would compromise the external part of that validity.

Because of that compromise, I urge you to gather other practitioners to assemble an internal academic performance standards for your grade level and urge other teachers to do the same for their grades. Set up a website so the development is transparent.

Your effort will allow comparisons between internal and external validities of academic performance. That's leadership, not hubris, and you appear as a thoughtful teacher leader with credentials that would support confidence in those suggestions.

A last note: I think that by NGA failing to include business people in the development of these standards, a major flaw exists to the extent that classroom teachers "should" prepare alumni to compete in a global economy.

In my opinion there is no substitute for actual direct involvement by practicing classroom educators in this process. Their participation will not compromise the project's validity, but their absence will, for the reasons I have stated.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this point.

Thanks for clarifying and best wishes with your ideas.

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