24 January 2007

Foolish Consistency

Teachers who have been on the job for awhile tend to have a "wait and see" philosophy about things. It has grown out of several experiences where something old has suddenly become new again...not to mention wave after wave of reform. It seems easy to just ride out the tide and see what the next new thing will be, especially if you're not a fan of the current ideals.

Standards-based education has been around for over a decade now, and while it doesn't look like it's going away, the form it takes keeps shape shifting. Now that we have a loose grip on our state standards, it appears that there could be some rearranging of things. HB1288 was introduced, recommending that the state standards be reviewed in light of both national and international standards and any adjustments suggested by September 1, 2007. Meanwhile, the feds are also suggesting a look at some national standards. I can see some pros (does this mean the feds would have to bear all the costs for testing) and cons (we're too big of a country to have a common set of curricula) to this. I really just want legislators to leave things alone for a couple of years. I feel like the wound of education reform is never going to heal because lawmakers keep picking at it. Sheesh.

I'm a little nervous about the state direction. I cringe to think what teachers will say when they find out that all of the hard work they've put in to align their instruction with standards has to be changed yet again...not to mention all of the district monies used to buy aligned materials and so forth. Foolish consistency might be the hobgoblin of little minds, but it might also mean sustained focus in the classroom.

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