Friday, January 6, 2012

Wishful Thinking: National Standards for 15,000 Independent School Boards!

The more things change, the more they remain the same -- proverb
Our history shows that it is not difficult to seduce Americans into a crusade, even a difficult and bitter one, so long as the majority can hope to live to see the conquest of the Promised Land. But to be merely a bit player in a struggle that may last for generations? That is surely asking too much. We cannot see where we, as a nation, will be next year.

Take a paper and pencil, and, if you have been a teacher for ten years, you will be able to list a number of initiatives, reforms, and innovations that have gone the way of all flesh. I started teaching when the New Math was about to save America from Sputnik and other devilish Communist contrivances. Ancient that I am, I saw teaching machines rise and fall, language labs degenerate into expensive toys.

SRA reading materials brought their own micro-millennium. Whole Language hangs on, but OBE has lost its vigor. 4-MAT has become 4-gotten. Special Education has become inclusion, which is practically what it was before it became Special Education.

Do you remember Needs Assessment? Has Site-Based Management or Quality Circles transformed the world? Who wanted these innovations? Apparently, not the public who supports the public schools.

Who bothered to convince people other than educators that the millennium was at hand? No one. Who made off with the vast sums of money spent on such programs? That is an interesting story, also.

To examine these issues further, see Establishing Nationally Recognized Educational Standards

-- EGR

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