Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Education Week's CCSS Coverage

Education Week has been doing some decent coverage of the CCSS and the recent backlash. Today they posted two articles about the CCS:

Friday, April 19, 2013

CCSS and Local Control

The Education Gadfly blog posted The emperor is mostly naked: Responding to Common Core critics, an insightful response to critics of the Common Core. I agree with most of their points, but this one caught me:
Fabrication #3: The Common Core strips local school boards of their authority over curriculum
Regardless of whether this is a fabrication or not, I've always been annoyed with the assumption that local control of education is the best way of organizing our primary education institutions. We have thousands of school districts doing the same things; creating lesson plans aligned to state standards, developing their own training materials, and training faculty. This system worked great when graduates would compete for jobs locally. Teachers and administrators would be trained in fairly constrained domains, and could develop curricula and materials that target those jobs.

But we are no longer competing with the town down the highway. We are competing with Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, and Sydney. Global competition requires global skills. Skills we must train our teachers and administrators to teach. If we ask local education institutions to develop an ever-increasing amount of materials, in order to compete internationally, can we really trust that the quality of that education will get better?

In essence we are asking local school districts to compete with countries whose curriculum is organized at a national level. For New York, and Los Angeles, that may be fine. But for Birmingham, Tallahassee, and Denver? Wouldn't placing some amount of curriculum development in the hands of the federal government, with their wide range of resources and funding, be a better approach?