Monday, June 15, 2009

Uniting Kids Through Common Standards

I can list of the New York City kindergarten standards as fast as I can list off my mom's birthday and my address. In one year these standards have become ingrained in my head.

Students come and students go, but in my class the standards are constant. Unfortunately they are not constant through out the country. Even the level of rigor is unclear through out the city. Students move between boroughs and I find myself wondering, "what have you been learning this year?" 

Jim Rex, South Carolina's superintendent of education, discusses the possibility of national common standards in today's Huffington Post. There are a lot of concerns: the government taking too much control and making standardized tests, lowering standards, and my biggest fear is who these "best minds" would be that create the standards?

I think high, yet, achievable standards that are developmentally appropriate are needed. I think standards that are specific, citing exemplar work, are necessary. I think there are a lot of important things, and while I think common standards are a great idea in theory, I fear about who would be in charge of creating these standards. Standards does not equate to standardized tests, but to a higher level of national achievement. Standardize goals, but not the path to get there, because all kids are different. Ready for a buzz word, differentiate. 

Also, can I help write the standards?  

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