12. Applies standards to discrete subjects rather than to larger goals such as insightful children, vibrant communities, and a healthy democracy.
D-Ed Reckoning wonders how that’s going to work.
Now those are standards that I’d like to see — state standards for evaluating when children are insightful, when communities are vibrant, and democracies are healthy. Hopefully, schools will teach to the test and devote the morning to teaching insightfulness and the afternoons to teaching vibrancy. Hopefully, they’ll do a better job teaching these subjects than they did teaching math and reading.
The petition goes on:
10. Emphasizes minimum content standards rather than maximum development of human potential.
11. Neglects the teaching of higher order thinking skills which cannot be evaluated by machines.
Reckoning asks the question that goes through my mind at such times:
Have you ever seen a person with higher order thinking skills who couldn’t answer basic skills-type questions? No? Me neither. If anything, NCLB has shown that schools aren’t doing a very good job imparting basic skills, let alone those elusive higher order thinking skills. Let’s stick to baby steps.
The comments are, ahem, lively. One roundtabler says “children are being tortured systematically in our neighborhood schools.” Like that’s a bad thing.