Thursday, September 07, 2006

National testing

Here is the cry again for national testing!

If the goal is to make everyone in America learn the same things, then let's just make it easy. Adopt a national curriculum. Take RFP's for a set of national "materials" whether textbooks or software driven. Then require everyone to use them.

Then we can be just like the competitors we envy so much, China, India and Japan. Meanwhile, they are trying to figure out how to become like us.

I know the thought of this is horrifying. I speak in jest. But I get so sick of the wasted efforts in "textbook adoption" and curriculum revision efforts that are never ending and are repeated with redundancy in every system with the same publishing companies pushing the same generic products. Meanwhile, the curriculum just narrows and narrows and narrows as testing mania shows no signs of letting up. If we have a national testing agenda that narrows the curriculum to a single national assessment - how far are we the thought of national instructional "materials?"

Nahh. We'd rather play the pretend game and pretend we have local control.