Politics

Politics


Since the 1996 Governor's Summit at IBM, the sole emphasis on improving education has been viewed through the critiacl lens of assessment and little else. This single sightedness has compromised many good constructivist practices developed in the 80's and has scared too many superintendents and principals from exploring good pedagogical practices for fear of their jobs. Education has recently been driven by the need to satisfy the matter of assessment and not by the needs of the scholars in the classes. Education has fallen under the practice of the "ends justifying the means" and theory is being abandoned by pedagogues to satisfy the public craving for "how will this help pass the test." Standards as they have been rewritten in every state in this country do not reflect the practices in the classroom, nor have we found these current standards answering any pedagogical theory nor telling us much about our educational system. These high stakes and very stressful tests have done the very opposite of what the governors considered in 1996.

I wish to explore the history of the new standards movement across the country, explore how states have implemented the new standards, reacted to them in various states, abandoned them in some states, and begun the rethinking of the 1996 decision. Many states have expressed a desire to explore authentic methods of assessment.


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© Ted Nellen 1999