Re: Intelligence, Genetics and Equality (was "The Paradoxes...)
- Subject: Re: Intelligence, Genetics and Equality (was "The Paradoxes...)
- From: George Cunningham <gkc@LOUISVILLE.EDU>
- Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 12:37:26 -0400
- In-reply-to: <email@example.com>
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
When you address the issue of whether all students can learn at the same
high level, you are going right to the heart of standards based education
reform (SBER). Every state as far as I can tell, in their rationalization
for SBER declares that all students can learn at the same high level.
Assuming this to be true is the only way to justify setting a single
standard for all students, which is what these states do. Most states do
not even exclude students with IEP who have been diagnosed with a learning
disability or some level of mental retardation. To assert that a child who
is mentally retarded can perform at the same high level as all other
students is a questionable position, but one which many states make.
At the same time, if you assert that these states are correct and all
students can learn at the same high level it is difficult to argue that it
is wrong for states to hold all students to this high level. If you concede
that maybe not all students can actually perform at the same high level then
the use of a single high standards cannot be defended.
Of course most people who have had children or worked with children know
that not all children can perform at the same high level. Humans vary in
their abilities. This is an inconvenient, unfair, and possibly undemocratic
condition. It would be a much better world if everyone had the same
potential and everyone could reasonably aspire to the same goals.
If you want to hang onto the fiction that there is no such thing as ability
and as the signs in elementary schools say "If you can dream it, you can do
it" it is much harder to argue against SBER. One step towards eliminating
such programs is recognizing that a single standard for all students makes
no sense whatsoever.
If everyone can perform at the same high level, with hard work I should be
able to sing like Pavarotti, but alas I am tone deaf. I can't tell one note
from another. Of course I can sing and play the guitar with equal ability.
George K. Cunningham
University of Louisville
To unsubscribe from the ARN-L list, send command SIGNOFF ARN-L
Post a Message to arn-l: