New NJ Special Education Ruling: Providing Appropriate Services to Kids with AutismJanuary 2, 2013
NJSBA Precis on Christie’s “Educational Adequacy Report”January 3, 2013
My post today at WHYY’s Newsworks looks at New Jersey’s progress towards adopting the national Core Content State Standards and some disputes over curricular changes. For instance,
One active constituency derides the CCCS’s shift to more non-fiction reading in high school. While once there was little oversight, now the reading done by 9th-12th grade students (across all subjects) is supposed to comprise 70% non-fiction. In language arts classes it’s supposed to be 50%-50%, with a reading list that stresses the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. But only one Shakespeare play.
Here’s Diane Ravitch on the intrusion of government into the classroom: ”English teachers should be free to teach whatever they love, whether it is fiction or non-fiction. The ratios are nonsense. Utter and complete nonsense. I repeat: what administrator will have the stopwatch to police this travesty in all the classrooms? What brave soul will call it what it is: nonsense.”
For counterpoint, David Coleman, president of the College Board, and a CCCS advocate, is quoted in the New York Times saying that American language arts classrooms focus too much on self-expression and not enough on the ability to write clearly and effectively. “It is rare in a working environment that someone says, ‘Johnson, I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.'”
Read the whole thing here.