You have to know that the U.S. government’s “Common Core” curriculum [excuse me, but why is a federal government involved with classroom education anyway?] is in trouble when you read this kind of stuff in an Ohio paper:
Intelligent design could be taught with Common Core’s repeal
What does “taught” mean? Advocated? Discussed? Informed about? I always say, if something is news (now and then that occurs even in a total geek controversy like ID), a teacher should not be required to say “I am not legally allowed to discuss that with you.”
Why not? Is he the investigating officer at a crime scene?
Let alone be expected to recite any kind of stupid script whatever. A teacher should be someone who can think of something intelligent to say in the situation at hand. Meanwhile,
In what could reignite a controversy that raged about eight years ago, a bill to repeal Common Core education standards in Ohio would allow intelligent design and creationism to be taught alongside evolution in science classes.
House Bill 597 says new state science standards must “prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.”
In some places, that’s called “avoid partisan politics and sectarian religion.” Especially if all taxpayers are funding the system.
Surprising numbers of jurisdictions have lived at peace for centuries by following that rule. But I digress.
“I think all Ohioans want high standards, but they want those standards to be met by local school boards deciding what it is they can teach to get the students to meet those standards. And that’s exactly what we have in Ohio,” Kasich said.
“These standards or curriculum, it’s not written by Washington, it’s not written by Columbus, it’s written by local school boards.”
Local communities should never have given that authority up. But if they did, they had best take it back.
Years ago, I worked in education writing. Parents are required by law to send their children to schools between certain ages (compulsory education). That should not mean that they are required to present them for indoctrination in stuff no one believes or even takes seriously.
It’s all messy and—believe me—it requires a lot of tradeoffs. I’ve been in those meetings.
But, except in cases of serious injustice such as racial segregation or the promotion of hate, curricula should be kept as local as possible. Higher levels of authority should test in broad skills and competence (and address serious shortfalls).
There is a principle I could point to and will expand on later, (subsidiarity), that covers this.
Just one anecdote by way of illustration: Urban schoolchildren, here where I live, are often recruited for sympathy and activism on behalf of conservation of wolves. An important concern to be sure. But I won’t soon forget a rural schoolteacher explaining that she really couldn’t present the problem the same way as the curriculum materials did. Local wolves preyed on farm calves and did not bother to kill their victims first. Local students, of course, knew this. The “noble wolf” theme just did not work as well out there.
That doesn’t mean wolves shouldn’t be conserved. But heck, when talking to rural students, the teacher needs some flexibility to cut out the cutesy urban sentimentality about wolves, and focus on their ecological role. Flexibility – within broad guidelines of course. And the same with a lot of other issues.
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