by Tammy Drennan
Here’s the petition, but please read below first.
This is outside the scope of what I usually do on this blog, but I am so fed up with the never-ending schemes of the reformers to manipulate children into their ill-conceived ideas of what they “should” be that I feel the need to do something on the issue of common standards.
Thus, a simple petition to draw attention to what I think is an obvious hypocrisy, not to mention irony. Our country is run, at the political, business and social levels, by a people educated without the new common standards. If this inadequately equips one for leadership and life, then it seems the very people proposing the common standards actually have no leg upon which to teeter. Why should we accept their ideas and not others? They’ve only been able to reach a consensus through compromise anyway, so what we’ve ended up with is not an ideal but a collection of concessions.
And once we embrace said standards, who will be left to correct our course if we start to suspect we’re wrong? Or maybe we’ll never know, since we all only know the same things.
There’s more irony than this, though. The truth is that education is already far too common from school to school, far too the same for every child. No Child Left Behind helped get us there, but it began with the start of modern public schooling in the mid-1800s.
Adding further to the irony, it’s not that I think they’ll actually pull off common standards. It’s that they’ll do even more damage in the process of trying than they’ve already done or might otherwise do. At least now, there’s still a little space for a passionate teacher to share his or her specialty and light some intellectual fires, for some rogue teacher to allow students to pursue their own interests to the nth.
Is the desire for homogeneity, control, measurability and comparability so strong that we’re bent on tracking down the last remnant of originality or innovation so we can stamp it to death with a common curriculum?
Please share this pass-along (no signature required) petition – first with your governor, then with your friends and colleagues. Let’s make a statement.
Related reading: Common Standards Alarm