A Good Idea at Last?


http://www.corestandards.org/

MSNBC has an article today on a national standard for education.  The standards have not been published as of yet, but I thought the idea of a national standard should be explored. 

As with all things government, the proof is in the pudding.  If there is a national standard, these should be higher, not lower.  The problem with our educational system right now is that different groups have demanded lower standards so that one group of children or another can APPEAR to be doing well.  We’ve all heard this stuff. “Standardized tests are culturally biased.” “My kid can’t do well because he ain’t got no daddy.”  And the list rolls on.  Politicians, in their zeal to get reelected, suck up this swill and the standards for public (aka government) education fall lower and lower.  And lower standards hurt everyone, including the groups that are struggling to learn the skills an orangutan has mastered by age two.  Public education ain’t that tough, kids!  I’ve documented on this blog before that I have two high school graduates whom, to my knowledge, never brought any books home, except in the direst of circumstances.  I had to study my rear end off to make B’s.  Both of my kids GPAs were above 3.0.  And they didn’t study.  So, their grades say they have mastered skills needed for life.  Not true.  Both have struggled in college because they don’t have any study skills. 

I take some responsibility for this.  But I did warn them, numerous times, while they were in school about their poor study skills, and did offer advice and techniques to help them learn.  I’m their dad.  They’re teenage boys.  Enough said.

Tangent there.  Sorry.

So, will these new standards help?  I’m a little skeptical.  First of all, there is no required reading list, only recommendations.  Textbooks will be used in class.  How’s the quality of these books?  In Texas, the schools are considering a history book that removed references to Christmas as an important Christian holiday.  And, teachers are bent out of shape because they want to make the cirriculum. 

If this initiative is like other government ideas, it’s a great idea, but government will screw it up.  This is also an unfunded federal guideline.  So local and state governments will be required to pay to implement the standards. 

I think national standards are a good idea.  We need to complete as a nation with other countries as to how we educate our kids.  I’m just not really confident in government to implement these standards.  What are the consequences if a teacher, school or entire school system doesn’t do a good job implementing these standards and the kids score poorly on a standardized test? 

None of this will matter if the kids don’t want to learn.  If they don’t understand the importance of a good education and have a willingness and desire to work towards one, all the standards in the world won’t matter. 

I’ll comment more later after I get a chance to read up on the standards.

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2 Responses to “A Good Idea at Last?”

  1. nooneofanyimport Says:

    You make a great point: historically, standards have resulted in dumbing the kids down, not bringing em up.

    We can compete with other nations without comparing test scores–just innovating and thriving economically would be proof enough.

    I question whether the federal government has any business at all with schools, outside of the military academies.

    But this is from a gal who would eliminate the government-run public school system, if she could.

    • babaje2 Says:

      It would be nice if the government schools our kids go to had the same mentality as military academies: your education means the difference between life and death.
      Teacher’s unions squeal like a stuck pig whenever you talk about higher standards, accountability, and competition in schools, so that would never work.
      I’m with you on the idea that government schools need to go. An education is a privilege, not a right, like our socialist friends keep preaching.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. Much appreciated.
      Jon

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