<< Sorry Fred! Despite your reservations, concerns, and dispute, I still
contend that National Standards for students and teachers are a good
thing. I do not think that portfolio or performance assessment is a
"test", in the sense of what the word test connotes. >>
Thats ok. But Bill Clinton called for a national test. The Dept of
Education is calling for national tests. Al Shanker wants national tests.
Guess where we are headed?
<<I think educational reform within this plan of National Standards will
student learning and teacher performance. >>
What is "this plan?" Whose plan? Have we seen this plan?
<<Yes. I agree that local and state initiatives need to also ensure student
and teacher success, but I think that this can happen by embracing these
national standards which are based on sound educational practice. The
standards are benchmarks
for success, something to aspire to and reach for. I do not think they
are beyond what we are and should be able to achieve.>>
What are "these national standards?" Have you seen them? Share them with
us. If they haven't been put on paper yet, how do we know they are based on
"sound educational practice."
<<I do not think I am following a national agenda blindly, I have done
alot of soul searching over these issues over the past two years.
The bottom line is that the Arts are part of these National Standards,
and will help in advocating the importance and credibility of arts
education nationwide, in every classroom K-12. For me, Yes...that is
Yours in Art & Life,
Betty, I respect the position you have taken, that you haven't taken it
blindly. But here are a couple things maybe you haven't considered, if I can
risk sounding presumptuous:
1. There is no evidence that I have seen that so-called national standards
represents high expectations for students. Certainly, on the state level,
these standards have represented minimum levels of expectation. So national
standards suggest to me that the issue isn't one of demanding the most from
students and teachers, but rather demanding sameness.
2. There is no evidence that I have seen that tests, or even portfolio
assessments, result in the arts receiving greater credibility with those in
charge of local or state educational funding. Betti, have you seen such
evidence? Does any art teacher on this listserv believe that in a financial
crunch, school boards will save an artroom on the basis that the arts are
included in the movement for national standards?
3. Betti, with all due respect, you never responded to my initial concern,
which was with how a national curriculum, national standards and national
assessments could be developed respecting local cultural traditions,
distinctions, differences and criteria?