(Guest post by Greg Forster)
For weeks, Checker has been calling us “paranoid” for worrying that the national standards machine Fordham has helped create will be hijacked by the teacher unions.
Today, there lands in my inbox the new Gadfly from Fordham, featuring a guest editorial by Eugenia Kemble of the Shanker Institute. Kemble’s argument, in a nutshell: Now that we have national standards, the next thing we need is a national curriculum. That way we don’t just ensure that all schools set outcome targets and measurements in the one best way that’s right for everyone regardless of their individual needs; all schools will do everything in the one best way that’s right for everyone regardless of their individual needs. And we’ll have a benevolent dictator who will make sure that everyone will do everything in the one best way, and who will never abuse that power.
On Kemble’s list of the heroic, wonderful people she admires who have been pushing not just for national standards but a national curriclum are Bill Schmidt and Randi Weingarten at the AFT; teacher union shill Diane Ravitch; and . . . Checker Finn.
Inquiring minds want to know:
- Does the Fordham Foundation support a national curriculum?
- Given that Fordham is offering up the Gadfly as a platform from which Kemble can advocate using national standards as the first step toward broader federal control of schools, does the Fordham Foundation still consider it “paranoid” to be worried that national standards will be used as a first step toward broader federal control of schools?
I’ll hold my breath and wait for Checker to give us a clear, unambiguous answer.
[…] curriculum: With the common standards now adopted by two-thirds of the states, what’s next? “We’ll never get ed policy right as long as we continue to conflate standards and […]
For some reason I can’t see across the room, but did I just slip on elephant dung?
From the Gadfly: “But somehow, the argument [for a standardized curriculum] has failed to take hold. Why? For one thing, because of continuing (and often irrational) preoccupations about local control.”
Perhaps this isn’t elephant dung after all, and the reason I can’t see across the room is merely my own blindness to how evenhanded Finn is being by generously allowing all sides to be heard. Apparently Kemble may be right about my irrational silly preoccupations about something as trivial as control. Alas, this slippery substance may actually be a delicious chocolate cake.
Maybe there’s something in the water or, more likely, it’s just a human characteristic that receives a good deal of encouragement, but there’s something about living/working in Washington D.C. that seems to encourage the belief that a greater centralization of power and decision-making is always a good thing.
[…] CURRICULA posted August 9th, 2010 In a recent post on Jay P. Greene’s blog, Greg Forster admonishes the Thomas B. Fordham Institute for running my piece on the importance of […]
[…] essay by my late friend Paul Gagnon, whose wise voice is missed sorely amidst the growing paranoia (here, here, here) around the notion of common curriculum. In Paul’s words: The idea that democratic […]