Education reform advocates have become so attuned to the rhetoric that,
gotten off the script, they don't know how and can't function, testimony
to the ystem brainwashing goin on. The following is from a friend
who lives in Arkansas. She sent a letter to the state regarding curriculum
received a response that curriculum was a "local issue". She then requested to know if the curriculum in the local school didn't have to teach the state curriculum frameworks, and what happens if a parent doesn't agree with the state curriculum frameworks. The response to her questions follows. I must say, folks, this is priceless.
I'm sure you will all be surprised to know that the Arkansas Curriculum
Frameworks look just like those of the other 50 states, geared to produce
"world-class workers for the 21st Century" who have mastered "the new basic
skills — teamwork, critical thinking, making decisions, communication,
adapting to change and understanding whole systems."
From: "Gayle Potter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: "Bill Fulton" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, August 30, 2002 9:02 AM
Subject: RE: question... one more time
All children enrolled in public schools must be taught a curriculum
based on the content standards in the Arkansas Curriculum Frameworks.
This is a requirement of the law and of Rule and Regulation. Local
school districts may include learning standards which exceed or are not
part of the
Frameworks, but they must teach the Frameworks. The State assessments taken by our children are intended to measure their learning of these content standards. The school accountability program is heavily based on their test scores. Additionally, by law we are required to provide professional
development around the content standards in the Frameworks. In short, we are focusing our public education system on challenging content standards within the Frameworks. I would also note to you that our Federal government now requires us to create such a standards-based system under the No Child Left Behind legislation. There is no way to opt out of having students in public schools educated based on something other than our Frameworks. Parents do have choice in directing the education and upbringing of their children. Any parent completely opposed to his/her child being taught based on the Frameworks can determine to seek another form of education for that child, such as a private school or home schooling. However, before making such a decision, I would urge you to closely study our Frameworks, which are posted on our web site. You will find clear definitions of what students should know and be able to do in each content area. These
Frameworks are written by Arkansas teachers who have access to curriculum documents from across the nation and who want our children to grow into contributing citizens with the kind of knowledge and skills it is going to take to compete succesfully in the job market of tomorrow. I apologize for the length of this e-mail, but I wanted to provide a full explanation and context for my response.
Dr. Gayle Potter
Associate Director, Academic Standards and Assessment
Arkansas Department of Education
4 State Capitol Mall, Room 106A
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201