Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No Curriculum Left Behind

The last time I blogged about the nationalization of American education: a year ago, almost exactly. A year ago, it was ratcheting-up-rhetoric. But words have a way of translating into action:
Maryland and several other states are pushing rapidly toward adoption of new academic standards proposed Wednesday for English and math, adding momentum to the campaign to establish common expectations for public school students across the country.

The District also is on track to adopt the common standards drafted by experts in a project led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. However, it is possible that Virginia will not join the apparent surge toward approval.
I should point out that my home state--the "other" Washington--is part of the effort. And what might it mean?
Widespread adoption of common standards would mark a watershed for schools, triggering consequences for curricula, textbooks, testing and teaching. Some critics say common standards amount to a thinly disguised ruse to establish national standards under federal control -- an allegation that state and federal officials deny.
They don't have to be a "ruse" to have the eventual--and seemingly inevitable--effect of a national curriculum. Unless the feds dismantle NCLB, which simply isn't going to happen, there will always be a reason to federalize.

Added: a blog-neighbor questions the Common Core standards.

1 comment:

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

The second we had NCLB we slid down the path to a national curriculum. All those local yokel state legislators who believe otherwise are kidding themselves.