Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

National Standards - Where's the Pedagogy?

I can't express how disappointed I was to hear that at the recent Governor's meeting, the NGA, they are considering National Standards. What added to the insult was that they were considering going outside to use the international tests to inform them about these national standards. Schools in the USA are different from all schools in other countries. We require all of our children be in school till the age of 16. This is not so in other countries.

When former President George H W Bush convened the governors for a session on education headed by then Governor Clinton and this topic came up, I wrote on their webpage a question asking, "Whose Standards?" The same question is appropriate today. We know that book publishers create two editions of their textbooks, one for 49 states and one edition for Texas. So as we hear the governors about to generate national standards, how will this work, when Texas brings its own agenda and power to the table and how will this work with the needs of other states. This has all the trappings of a boondoggle.

The running of schools is a local matter not a federal one and yet the federal government has spent lots of time in the past 50 years trying to usurp the states. Are we seeing the nationalism of schools under Obama? I sure hope not. I should hope that Arne Duncan would put together a conference on education that is heavily populated by teachers, something no former administration has done when education is discussed on a policy level. Please understand that educational policy is the equal combination of politics and pedagogy. Where's the Pedagogy, Secretary Duncan?

I would hope that Duncan would consider something different from what has been tried and has failed to materialize anything worthy of the USA. We are a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. I would hope that he would engage the people in this process and I bet we could create a very useful and powerful educational agenda for the USA. We study history so that we don't repeat the mistakes, Secretary Duncan.

No comments: