homeschool / problem solving

National Education Standards? Can You Say Big Brother?

One size fits all in the education field? Since when did all Americans agree on how children should be raised? Isn’t that why we have private schools, Christian schools, magnet schools–because rarely can a large group agree on what is critical to a child’s development.Would you want San Francisco (or you fill in the blank) making decisions about the books your child reads? Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t, but I’ll bet you want the choice.

National standards are a pivotal change from each state following local cultural morays. Wait till Iowa hears they have to teach transgender dress or Utah that it must teach evolution. Whether you agree with liberal or conservative, the three R’s or a more eclectic approach, there is no one rule that suits everyone. And that’s part of the beauty of American education.

Here’re the national physical education standards, according to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education:

A physically educated person:

— Has learned skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities
— Is physically fit
— Does participate regularly in physical activity
— Knows the implications of and the benefits from involvement in physical activities
— Values physical activity and its contribution to a healthful lifestyle

S, let’s see if I got this straight: A physically educated person is physically fit. Pretty wishy washy for most PE teachers I know. The lack of details sure keeps teachers from teaching to the test. Thanks, feds.

Read for yourself.

Education Week: National Subject-Matter Standards? Be Careful What You Wish For

By Marion Brady

“American education,” said Buckminster Fuller, “has evolved in such a way that it will be the undoing of the society.”

Fuller, the visionary thinker and inventor whose work spanned fields from architecture to philosophy, was about to address a 1988 conference of business executives at Rockford College in Illinois, but was first reacting to a speech just concluded by the college’s president.

Looking at the president, he continued: “What you fellows in the universities do is to make all the bright students into experts in something. That has some usefulness, but the trouble is it leaves the ones with mediocre minds and the dunderheads to become generalists who serve as college presidents. And presidents of the United States.”

Generalists—people concerned with the “big picture”—don’t get much respect in the modern world. There’s no “generalists” listing in the Yellow Pages, none are on school faculties, and no employment ads request applications from them.

What’s the big picture right now? Clashes on the fault lines between religions, societies, and civilizations. Terrorism. A widening gap between rich and poor. The confusing of national power with national greatness. Boardroom dishonesty. Violence promoted as entertainment. Lobbyist-dominated legislatures. Great confidence in the ability of force to improve the world. Tax evasion and other evidences of a lack of a sense of social responsibility. An education system in disarray from policies driven by ideology and simplistic conventional wisdom. (more)

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