Re: [eddra] prediction of a natinal curriculum
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: [eddra] prediction of a natinal curriculum
- From: LeoCasey@aol.com
- Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 12:40:10 -0500
Monty Neill raises the question which appear on the EDDRA list, concerning NAEP and the emergence of a "national curriculum." Below was my reply to the thread, which never saw the light of day on EDDRA, as one must either agree with Bracey or being an obviously uninformed right wing foil to have one's messages sent on -- an intelligent question about received wisdom is just too much.
I believe these comments on the horrors of a national educational system are simply a not very thought out appeal to what is perceived as a basic American prejudice, that education must be controlled by states and localities at all costs. Tell that to the African-Americans who were subjected to a century of Jim Crow schools in the South. Tell that to the parents of the children who attend public school in Mississippi today, which ranks 49th or 50th among American states [I forget which] in spending on education, a pittance compared to most states. Tell that to the parents of inner city students across the United States, who see their states provide them with a far inferior education to that received by their suburban counterparts.
Yes, a national system of education would not be a magic bullet for all of the ills of American education, although it would almost certainly lessen the extent of inequality [it would be hard to imagine it getting much worse]. And it is certainly not the demon suggested by these threads.
In a message dated 12/20/2003 4:59:41 PM Eastern Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
> It is worth noting in connection with Susan Harman's
> prediction of a national curriculum, that when NAEP was
> first proposed in the mid-1960's, every educational
> organization opposed its creation and that the primary
> reason for that opposition was that NAEP would lead
> inexorably to a national curriculum, along with federal
> control over education.
And why federal control of curriculum be such a terrible thing? Countries with nationally directed education systems, such as France, have a great deal more equity than the US. The federal government was the engine of progressivism in the New Deal and in the Civil Rights revolution of the 1960s. It is not necessarily so all the time, but it also sure as hell is not automatically and unquestionably a bad thing.
Power concedes nothing without a demand.
It never has, and it never will.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters.
-- Frederick Douglass --
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