Saturday, May 3, 2014

"Pressing needs" in American Education

S. Krashen

Diane Ravitch recently observed that there has been a big hurry to implement the Common Core. In 2009, she urged the authors of the Common Core to field test it before implementation, advice they did not follow. Again in 2010, at the White House, she urged field testing, but officials "quickly dismissed the idea. They were in a hurry. They wanted Common Core to be rolled out as quickly as possible, without checking out how it works in real classrooms with real teachers and real children." (

At about the same time, the US Department of Education, in their National Education Technology plan, was in a big hurry to introduce new technology into the schools. They argued that this must be done immediately, because of the "the pressing need to transform American education ...",  even if this means doing it imperfectly: Repairs can be done later: "... we do not have the luxury of time: We must act now and commit to fine-tuning and midcourse corrections as we go."  In other words, there will be no attempt to see there is any evidence that new technology could, in fact, "transform American education."  (Transforming Education: Learning Powered by Technology. US Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. Quotes here are from the Excutive Summary.)

I think there are two "pressing needs" in education. One is to protect America's children from the effects of poverty. The other is to stop the admittedly unvalidated Common Core, delivered through  admittedly incompletely vetted technology.

No comments:

Post a Comment