Obama Proposes Nationwide Education Standards
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There’s an interesting article entitled U.S. Lays Out Set of Common School Standards by Nick Anderson in the Washington Post today (3/10/10) on President Obama’s push to nationalize education standards, something both George H.W. Bush and Clinton attempted during their administrations. Both sides make valid points. One side believes that education should be left to the state’s control because individual states understand their citizens better. The other says that in order for the U.S. to improve its academic standing and performance around the world, it must make a united effort.
Take a look at these quotes taken from the original article to get an idea of how these changes would affect schools’ curriculum:
Instituting new academic standards would reverberate in textbooks, curriculum, teacher training and student learning from coast to coast.
Fourth-graders, for example, would be expected to explain major differences between poetry and prose and to refer to such elements as stanza, verse, rhythm and meter when writing or speaking about a poem.
Eighth-graders would be expected to use linear equations to solve for an unknown and explain a proof of the Pythagorean theorem on properties of a right triangle — cornerstones of algebra and geometry.
There is no required reading list. But the plan lists dozens of classic works to illustrate a rising level of language complexity that students should be expected to handle.
E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” is cited as an appropriate read-aloud book for second- and third-graders. President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address is listed as an informational text for ninth- and 10th-graders. The plan also pushes for students to be exposed to much more nonfiction in the social and natural sciences.
How or if this affects the homeschooling community is yet to be seen, but it’s only prudent that we stay up-to-date of any changes to our nation’s educational programs.
What do you think? Should the government create national education standards or should those remain with the individual states? And do you think this will or should affect the homeschool community? Please share your thoughts.