There has recently been a movement among national and state-level public education leaders towards creating and adopting national standards for English language arts and mathematics. Concern comes from the fact that American school youth don’t test as well on standardized language (English in our case) and math tests as their European and Asian peers. Even President Obama has jumped on that bandwagon. Continue reading →
This is a piece I wrote for Alternative Education Resource Organization magazine last fall that I realized I had never shared on my blog. From my experience with Unitarian-Universalist principles and world-view, there is an argument made that it is important to acknowledge that there are many valid spiritual paths in the world that should be honored inclusively. In this piece, I have applied that idea of “Many Paths” to youth development and education….
From our son Eric’s experience, the experience of many other families and youth we know or have read about, and the sobering statistic that up to 50% of our youth in our big city public school districts (including our son Eric) are not graduating from high school, I have come to the conclusion that the ubiquitous, “one size fits all” conventional instructional school does not, and cannot work for every youth, no matter how fully it is funded or how much it is “reformed”. Yet I have talked to plenty of youth who go to conventional schools, do very well, and enjoy going to school each day. I have attended John Lofton’s excellent workshops at AERO conferences where he makes a compelling case that many people in the African-American community believe strongly in the conventional instructional school, if fairly resourced, to be the best shot for their youth to have a chance to succeed. Continue reading →