I was in my LIS406 class today (Management of the School Library), and my professor mentioned the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. In it, it forbids federally determined curriculum.
This is fascinating, considering the Common Core. The Common Core isn’t federally mandated, but, if schools want to receive federal funding, then they have to abide by it. Not all states have adopted it; there are a few hold-outs: Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Virginia, and Alaska.
States have rights, and education is one of those rights. What they teach and how they teach is up to them.
Now, this is the confusing part: If states are responsible for their own curriculum, and No Child Left Behind requires states to test students for assessment purposes, how do we know that a passing grade in MA has the same weight as a passing grade in CA? I’ve looked at the MA test and the NY test. The NY test is downright scary in comparison (and it tests every subject). The MA test is every few years, and only covers English, Math, and Science. Also, does this mean that kids in MA who pass aren’t as smart as kids in NY? Or are kids in NY just drilled for the tests? What impact does this have on college applications an beyond?
I scored pretty well on my SATs in high school. I took some SAT IIs as well (had to). But does that mean I know math? Not at all. I just knew how to pick the right answers and I got really lucky. Do kids taking the standardized test do the same thing?
The states control curriculum.
The Common Core means states get federal funding.
The Common Core is run by a private company.
So, who really controls curriculum?