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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Were the "Standards" written by GOD? No, they were written by Government Bureaucrats

Were the "Standards" written by GOD? No, they were written by Government Bureaucrats

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It's simply amazing that educators are so quick to lap up the next great teaching style, mandated from the top without any questions. The latest of course are "the standards" which now dictate not only curriculum but will certainly rewrite lesson plans. It's truly funny that we have given up our teaching autonomy completely to the government where they control the smallest events, the minutiae of the subject matter. What is even worse, the government tests are set up to have students burp back this information on demand. If the school do not perform on the tests, it is marked down, put on report and perhaps denied funding. So administrators [who have not objected in public] and teachers [who follow as though the great light has shown on their classroom] give in to the bureaucrats who write the standards and exert top down control what is taught in an entire state. Progress ? Yes, if you believe in Government Controlled Schools

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Eileen Callejas's picture
Eileen Callejas
Founder of Helpertunity.org

I feel your frustration, Bruce.

I left "school" teaching after spending 5 years working in a Middle School in Virginia, back in 1995, when State Standards were first adopted, then moved to Florida in 2000 - the year Florida adopted their State Standards of Learning. The toughest part, in the first 5 years of those transition periods, was that these "Minimum Standards" were absorbing the "Maximum" time and attention from the school day - and draining the fun and "love of learning" right out of any possible curriculum design and suplementation of the textbook.

Of course, America's "Free Public Education" has always been "run" by the government, but with all there is to possibly "learn about" in our world, and all the changes and new doors that modern technology has opened to students in recent years, it is very frustrating for creative educatiors to see so much focus placed on basic skills and the memorization of terms and data for standardized tests.

I would hope that we soon come to reconsider the ROI on how we are spending our students' time on memorizing the minimum standard trivia material. There are ways around this, of course, by working in a private school, or promoting more innovations, like Florida Virtual School for K-12 students, which allows them to learn the standadized curriculum online, on a flexible time-frame - freeing up their days for supplemental experiential learning opportunities. I forsee the Virtual School Concept expanding in the years to come, as a way for students to fast-track the minimum requirements, and choose more electives of interest.

Even though I left the school system, I have not left "teching" as a profession. I now inspire adult and elderly learners many great "electives" topics that they never had the opporunity to cover in school either - when they were stuck studying the Three "R"s - Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmatic!

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