Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Role of the Federal Government in Education - Common Standards

We have previously addressed the topic of the role of the federal government in education. Politicians have forever extolled the virtues of local school boards being responsible education policy. Still, since the founding fathers first planned our form of government, the federal role in education has been debated.

Recently 46 states plus the District of Columbia have announced a plan to draft common curriculum content standards across the nation. Only Alaska, Texas, South Carolina and Missouri have not joined the effort. This is not a project of the federal government; it has been originated by the states. It will, however, result in common national curriculum standards. Yet another area would be out of control of local and state school boards. Education Secretary Duncan has applauded the effort and hailed it as the "...beginning of a new day for education in our country..." Here is a news article concerning the content standards movement.

This has implications for the No Child Left Behind Act. It also has implications for children with disabilities; particularly as to the issue of how such children are tested, and especially as to how children with severe cognitive disabilities are tested.

So how do you feel about common content standards? Is this a positive development or a negative development?

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