Sixty individuals, ONE teacher among them, will write national education standards in the next five months, in a secret process that excludes effective input from students, parents or teachers.
As teachers we spend a lot of time thinking about what we teach our students, and how to engage them in learning. When the National Governor’s Association (NGA) called for national education standards a few months back, some educators optimistically believed that we might be consulted in the process. After all, didn’t the entire No Child Left Behind fiasco teach us what happens when policies are enacted without the active engagement of the professionals expected to carry them out?
However, I had a sinking feeling history might repeat itself, when I wrote this entry a few weeks back.
Now the other shoe has dropped. On Wednesday, the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released their plan for developing national standards for Mathematics and English.
They propose a process that will result in new national K-12 standards by next December, and launched a new website where we can watch the magic unfold. They also released the names of those on the Mathematics and English “Work Groups” that will draft the standards, and the “Feedback Groups” who will advise them once drafts have been offered. We are informed that “The Work Group’s deliberations will be confidential throughout the process.” As far as public input, “States and national education organizations will have an opportunity to review and provide evidence-based feedback on the draft documents throughout the process.” There does not appear to be any avenue for the public at large, students, parents or teachers to provide direct input.
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