June 4, 2011
National Curriculum or National Standards?
Discussions about a national curriculum have been part of the background noise in American education for a long time but the volume has been turned up in recent months. The issue is discussed frequently on education websites; writers like Susan Jacobi (author of The Age of American Unreason1) have argued for a national curriculum, and President Obama's speech to students2 extended the notion of a federal role in education. What is the attraction of a national curriculum? For a country that doesn't have a national curriculum, the idea that all children not only have the right to a good education, but that the content of that education is somehow assured can be a very attractive one. The national curriculum in England and Wales (even there, the "national" curriculum doesn't extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland) was broadly welcomed as a way of evening out recognized inequalities among schools. The French have had an extreme national curriculum for a long time....(Read Full Article)