In the name of “21st-Century skills,” California Superintendent Jack O’Connell is trying to water down the state’s high standards, writes Bill Evers on his Ed Policy blog.
Indeed, the California standards have been judged among the best in the country by the Fordham Foundation and the American Federation of Teachers.
The superintendent says “evolving the standards” would “fully engage both students and teachers in the learning process in a way that sees both parties benefit and helps to better prepare students for success in the economy of the 21st century.”
Translation from education jargon: He wants to water down California’s existing high standards in the name of the woolly concept of “21st-century skills,” that is, communicating with each other, working in groups, media literacy, and so forth. He wants to subtract from classroom time spent on solid subject-matter content to teach these supposed stand-alone skills.
Evers was a key player in writing the math and science standards, which are considered very demanding.