Friday, July 23, 2010

Adopting the New National Standards in MA - Debate

Keep the Old or Change for New?

"Chi lascia la strada vecchia per la nuova, sa quel che lascia ma non sa quel che trova!" goes the old Italian adage, (similar to the English version 'do not change the horse in half stream'.) It is true, that he who quits the old way for a new one, knows what he leaves, but does not know what he finds. So, it seems to be the case of MA legislators in adopting the New NAtional Standards for teaching Matha nd Science in EL/MS levels. However, I am tryingto work as devil's advocate with the following reflection, invited to the discussion by Rocco, Rob, Rick.

As an outsider, I think that making a move toward positive change will be helpful: (if) A) Standards are to be viewed as a common "floor" (Christos Z.) upon which you build accordingly knowledge. {MA teacher must not fear it if they always strive for excellence. Established practice demonstrated successful must not change per se: keep doing the same good job and teaching the same core values... B) Why fear if the new Standards are based in good (%) on MA frameworks, (as we are so told!) Just to consider the opposite side (of public educationl,) sometimes, is beneficial to thinking the end results: - cum grano salis - students that in El/MS do not go through testing do perform as well; outperform at best (using full potential), or fail (when not using full potential) in compaison to their public peers. Eventually, teaching FOR testing (MCAS) has many benefits, but creates a culture of learning that (I observe and perceive) is under scrutiny by many educators. C) Federal budget is not to be neglected, if schools suffer fundings; so many schools may benefit in this regard. To use a metaphor inspired from the geneticist, Dr. Erin Cram, this is not a step backward per se, but a tentative to find a cure of abnormal gene behavior in a system of education (math & sciences) that is affecting nation's science and math delivery to young generations.

The question still remains: is it the answer to be found in the delivery system, or in a wider, distracted, socio-economical and cultural background ?

My two cents, Ardian

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