If you are going to speak out against things, as I often do, I think it is good to also say what you are for. I don’t want to just be against the current version of education reform; I also want to be for certain things to be happening in education. So I decided to follow up my critique of the Common Core Standards and their author, David Coleman, with a different series… my own set of standards that represented what I was for in education, rather than what I was against.
I quickly discovered that it’s very difficult to write standards without becoming a “standardisto” yourself, just as Mr. and Mrs. Fitz discover in the strips below. The very idea of standards has become so associated with things you try to cram down kids throats (“Students will use apostrophes correctly!”) that I knew my standards needed to be named, and phrased, differently.
Once the name and format were set, I set about coming up with the UN-standards. I discovered that standards-writing becomes addictive, which may explain why there are so many of them, and I decided to limit myself to a newspaper-week’s worth of strips, Monday through Saturday.
I’ve thought of some more I could add since then, but for now I’ll let these stand. I’m pretty happy if my students can wrap their brains around these ideas.
I’d be even happier if a few education reformers could as well.