I suspect one of the reasons conversation about Common Core state standards has gotten so very confusing and inflammatory is because so few articles, commentaries, and discussions ever spell out what standards are.
This week's news about changes to the SAT format that will take place in 2016 reminded me of my own SAT experience just a few years ago. The Critical Reading and Sentence Completion sections were up first, and I was surprised that I actually did okay. Then came the math section.
Those working with test design must stop patronizing our students in the name of an erroneous conception of fairness and construct rigorous exams that will send clear signals to educators about what they should teach.
Overworked, sleep-deprived burnouts -- that's the most likely result of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's vigorous promotion of Common Core standards, meant to standardize learning but, in reality, poses a serious threat to students' well-being.
FSC lists 38 separate standards on its website, and even these get enforced at various levels. For example, FSC has no limits for clear-cutting in countries like Russia and Brazil, whereas the strictest standards are applied in the U.S. What does that mean for consumers?
Some state governments seem to think that they can reach out with one hand to ask the federal government for money, while wagging a finger with the other hand to scold the feds for intruding into state education policy.
Texans realized early on that for their kids to compete against students from Beijing and Bangalore, they needed to take rigorous classes in high school. However, after several years of steady progress, state lawmakers are poised to gut what Texas got right before anybody else.
Ladies, you must never think of yourself as an overstock. Yes, you may look around and it seems that there are so many single women and few single men available. However, you should never lower your standards in hopes of getting married quicker.
Today, private organizations charge U.S. citizens hundreds of dollars simply to read a copy of standards they issue -- even though citizens are required to obey those standards, because the federal government has incorporated them into regulations.
Which is the true "conservative" resolution? The one that tells states what to do and demands a one-size-fits-all approach? Or the one that trusts states to make up their own minds -- without interference from Washington?
A standard is a level of quality, something that is accepted as a norm, and generally used as a basis for judgment. An expectation is a strong belief that something is going to happen in the future, or a feeling that someone or something is going to achieve something.
We should make equal educational opportunity a federal civil right for all students. This should include the right to a challenging curriculum, well-trained and effective teachers, and the funding to provide these essentials.
Ideology is being replaced by standards. Never-ending arguments about privatization, who should own the electricity company, have given way to public discussions about performance, who can avoid more black-outs.