Credit education secretary for broadened approach

Apr 21, 2016 by

Education leaders in Utah have embraced the value of giving local schools more flexibility in designing classroom plans.

The new U.S. education secretary has staked out a position in favor of broadening public school curricula to offer students a more rounded education not so focused on math and reading. His position is refreshing, but somewhere in the vicinity of ironic since the influence of federal policies have tended to narrow learning guidelines and given emphasis to some subjects over others, even though that may not be what states and local school districts have found in their pupils’ best interests.

What Secretary John B. King called for in a recent speech suggests an awakening in Washington that it might be wise to allow states and local school districts more flexibility in designing curriculum to better serve their student bodies and, indeed, allow for a more diverse and expansive curriculum. He says conversations with local educators have illustrated how teachers have felt so obligated to push math and English language studies in order to comply with No Child Left Behind standards that other subjects have taken second stage.

King’s predecessor, former Secretary Arne Duncan, was forceful in his advocacy for the No Child Left Behind law, which has been replaced by the Every Child Succeeds Act. It is good to have the new secretary speak to how standardized testing may result in a narrowing of curricula.

Education leaders in Utah have embraced the value of giving local schools more flexibility in designing classroom plans. There are two recent examples. The State Board of Education has adopted a new set of standards for teaching math, which is being hailed by education leaders as a sign that the state is prepared to seize autonomy over curriculum design.

Source: In our opinion: Credit education secretary for broadened approach | Deseret News

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