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Bad repairmen and US educational policy

December 10, 2013 pm31 12:38 pm

– both continually change things without fixing them. – both continually change things without figuring out what the effects of the previous changes were. – and both might make things better one day, might make them worse another day, but are bad for everyone in the long run.

I know math best. In my 17 years in the system, we have had four sets of high school math state tests – Course I, Course II, Course III, then Math A, Math B, then Integrated Algebra, Integrated Geometry, Integrated Algebra II/Trigonometry, and now Common Core exams.

These changes were primarily political. Even the one that was almost pedagogical (I/II/III —> A/B) was primarily political.

We lurch from one to the next, never stopping to ask: “what should children learn?” “how much should children learn?” “what have children been learning?”  We don’t examine the previous curriculum for strengths and weaknesses. (Isn’t Common Core an exception?  Not for 9-12 math it’s not. It’s the worst kind of grab bag you could imagine, every topic + the kitchen sink thrown together without rhyme or reason)

We (meaning the people who set educational policy, not really me, and I hope not you) are bad repairmen, raking in $$$ as we perform repair after repair, sometimes we fix things, sometimes we break things, and we need to be stopped.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Diane Pearl permalink
    December 11, 2013 pm31 2:12 pm 2:12 pm

    This is the truth regarding politics reigning over educational policy that often becomes a pursuit (mandated; dictated) of fool’s gold. There is no balance. Breaks need to be applied to this “run away train”.

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