Wednesdays at Houlihans: Dec 7th

In an attempt to drum up some conversation starters and discussion, I am going to suggest a topic of High School options and a more “rigorous” curriculum.

 

To the first, Unit 4 is really trying to gather feedback on what community members want. Do we want a 3rd high school? Where? Do we want a “prep academy” (8th and 9th grade at one campus, 10th-12th grade at the other)? Or do we want to commit to the minimal amount of work to keep the roofs from falling down?

 

The second topic is closely related, IMO, especially if we consider the prep academy. It seems like Unit 4 is quickly adopting “Common Core State Standards” which attempt to better get students ready for college and the workplace. I believe this is the “rigor” that is being buzzed about.

 

So feel free to join us this coming Wednesday, December 7th, to talk about these topics. Bring your opinions.

What is Education all about?

Premise

We all know education is a good thing. We believe we have a “right” to education. We hear about how the “system is broken”, how America is lagging in the global market. There is something inside us that compels us to ask “What is wrong?”

 

One perspective of where we are today

There seems to be a popular belief that the US is trailing a number of major players in the Global Education map. This idea is reinforced when we are treated to articles, charts and live coverage. On the topic of reform, Michele Rhee is really shaking things up with StudentsFirst.org, as demonstrated in the 2010 documentary “Waiting for Superman”. We have Federal initiatives like “No Child Left Behind” that attempts to spur us on towards higher standards. As a nation, we have been concerned about the education of our children and young adults for a long, long time. I hear lots of talk of reform, of blaming parents, teachers, administrators, etc. Locally, I am hearing the word “rigor” pop up a lot. Personally, I am not 100% clear what “rigor” means in the context of education, but there seems to be a sense that we need more of it, we need to produce people that are more ready for the workplace to help us compete internationally.

 

I have to ask, are things really that bad? Is this what we really need? Read the rest of this entry »