Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who Creates National Standards and Why?

Stephen Krashen's response to the "Subject-Matter Groups Want Voice in Standards" in Education Week:
"Apparently, the subject matter organizations agree that spending billions developing national standards and national tests are a good idea, they are only upset that they have not been invited to join the party.

Apparently, they agree that our major priority in education is more precise and uniform measurement, that all children should know where they are "on every step of their educational trajectory" (Arne Duncan) in all subjects.

Apparently they agree that this assembly-line rigid approach is in tune with the way children learn.

Apparently, the leaders of our subject matter organizations have not spent much time with children, and are unfamiliar with the vast research literature that says this approach is all wrong."

Your thoughts?

1 comment:


I have to admit I haven't read the referenced article, but it looks to me that one way of looking at it may be "if you can't beat'em, join'em". Subject matter people might want to a) give standards at least some meaning; b) have a piece of the pie, or at least the crumbs.
Seriously, we need to be waging a war on Duncan and the stubborn short-sighted persistence to enforce more and more standards and tests. I liked it the way Chris Lehmann put it - good data is very expensive, and cannot be gathered only at an annual test - that data means little if anything. Good data comes from daily observations and such; so let's just drop it altogether and spend that money somewhere else. Or save it, that's not as popular these days.