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Shanker Institute Counters Efforts To Undermine Common Core State Standards; Repeats Call For Matching Curricula


I suspect that any curriculum "guide" that is attached to two major national tests and which will (likely) have high stakes consequences will inevitably become a de facto national curriculum. Given the competing demands of standardization for accountability, and cost of the tests, it will likely morph into a dumbed down curriculum.

If we want to get serious, instead of hiding under rocks, think about a national, competency-based secondary school leaving exam, leaving it up to states and localities to create the multiple paths (curricular and experiential) that will enable students to clear those thresholds of competence, let alone how many dicretely-phased student learning outcomes must be met to qualify for a diploma. Look at the Degree Qualifications Profile put out in January for higher ed to begin a long-overdue move toward competencies, and you'll get the idea (minus examinations). There is nothing "standardized" about this.

Public education in the USA has been based on multiple local and state-centered curricula throughout its history. It is widely agreed the results have short-changed millions of students due to the divergent standards. Publishers follow the strictures set by high-population conservative states such as Texas and distort the treatment of history, economics and science in textbooks. Given the disparity in the results of student achievement over state lines, the need for basic minimum standards of content and rigor seems obvious. The "Closing the Door on Innovation" manifesto simply continues the present failed state of affairs and closes the door on the innovation that has been missing for the past century and a half of public education in the USA,


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