Sunday, August 22, 2010

Common Core State Standards, Common Core, and Partnership for 21st Century Learning

This past week my colleagues pointed me to a Video about a new initiative in New Brunswick, Canada, which uses the Partnership of 21st Learning framework.

Pearson Foundation created this next video to describe the approach.

Maine joined the Partnership in 2007. The Stategic Council members can be found here. Note that Microsoft is one of them and that Pearson is a major influence.

Okay, now it starts to get interesting. This week Common Core, an organization not to be confused with the Common Core State Standards group, although Fordham Foundation seems to be connected with both, has issued the Common Core Curriculum Maps which are based on the new CCSS.  Find the donors here. Note that Gates Foundation is a major contributor.

Now it starts to get very, very interesting.  It seems that Common Core has been slamming the Partnership for 21st Skills for the past year, bringing out lots of big guns, including Diane Ravitch and a number of well-known commentators who seem to support a more classical education.

Interesting stuff . . . the culture wars continue, but Gates/Microsoft and Pearson seem to be supporting both sides.

New Brunswick seems to have sided with the P21 approachWhat should Maine do?

Any thoughts?  Which approach do you prefer?  Or is there a middle ground?