Monday, February 20, 2012

CT is Raising the Bar, etc.

The CT Association of Public School Superintendents CAPSS is raising the bar, overturning the paradigms, reinventing education, thinking outside the box and generally saying any words and phrases that sound vaguely like a 21st Century Edubabble Buzzword. Here's their report, which will tell you all this.

This is the first big blast:

That does look impressive. Instead of simply providing access to education, they're going to educate them with high standards, with customized learning plans and many pathways. They're not using a patchwork of educational standards, no sirree. They're using coherent ones (probably Common Core because those are the fad of the month) and they plan on using technology to transform teaching.

Laudable goals, if you haven't been doing any of that for the past two decades. The problems with this little bit of legerdemain lie in the details.

I've always enjoyed the "authentic learning" thing, except when the people using it have no idea of what, exactly, it represents. It's not the opposite of what Dan Meyer called "pseudocontext" -- it doesn't really mean anything in particular. Certainly, it's not RealWorld learning. I know that seat time isn't a good measure of anything, but it's a little amusing to see that "direct measures" is now the standard. Didn't these used to be called tests and haven't we been doing this for a while now? Maybe not in CT public schools.

That bit about the "begins at different ages" being transformed to "begins at age three for all students" is interesting, too. I used to think that most kids started first grade at 6, or maybe 5 years, with kindergarten coming a year earlier, but this pre-K for all seems a bit of overkill. Did the people of CT agree to this?

This graphic cracked me up a bit: the grammatical error and the missing discipline. Maybe math is considered a science, now. (Nope. Further on they have: "Base accountability on the four core disciplines - language arts, science, mathematics and social studies.) At least they got the phrase "globally competitive" into it. "Internationally benchmarked" would have looked so silly if it were the only 21st century edubabble buzzphrase.

Oh, yeah. "Education is available whenever and wherever the students are ready to learn." Gotta put in that high-tech online learning part, too.

It's a classic Superintendent's Report. "Full of Sound and Fury... signifying nothing."

1 comment:

  1. Authentic learning is an excuse to buy stuff that you want to buy that facilitates authentic learning.

    Didn't you go to the in-service? :)