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The Past Gets in Our Eyes

Posted By: Arthur Camins on August 13, 2013
 
The Common Core State Standards for Reading and Mathematics appear to be simultaneously unstoppable trains and under siege, making strange bedfellows of both supporters and opponents. Two issues cloud the debate about their validity, value and efficacy: (1) The idea of standards has been conflated with standardization; (2) Standards have become inextricably linked to high stakes assessments. This has superseded a deeper meaning of assessment- the daily cycle of diagnosis and feedback to students that marks the practice of every effective teacher.

However, there is something deeper contributing the cloudiness. I am reminded of a classic Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy laments upon missing a fly ball, "Sorry I missed that easy fly ball, manager. I thought I had it, but suddenly I remembered all the others I've missed. The past got in my eyes!

In education, the cloudiness of past associations distorts our vision and constrains our ability to make progress. Our unexplored views on the role of autonomy and control in improvement make it challenging to sort through the issues surrounding the current fierce debates about education reform.

I discuss these issues in greater depth in an article here: (http://www.arthurcamins.com/?p=196)
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 The Past Gets in Our Eyes by Arthur Camins on August 13, 2013
     
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