Set Standards not Class Schedules

Colorado Republican legislators are proposing legislation that mandates a specific number of math, science and English classes that all students must take in order to graduate from high school.  They also are proposing that all students must take an exit exam before they receive a diploma.

The idea of an exit exam has merit and deserves consideration.  The idea to mandate a specific number of classes does not make sense.  In fact, it’s a move backward and will impede school district’s efforts to bring education into the 21st Century.  Here’s why.

We should be moving toward making learning the constant and time the variable, not the other way ‘round.  We should be trying to figure out ways for students to take the time they need to master material and then move on.  If some students can master material is half a semester, great.  If other students need one and a half semesters, fine.  Why should we hold students back who are ready to move?  Why should we force students to move on who aren’t ready?  We shouldn’t.

Designing instruction to move at the student’s pace rather the school’s pace is no easy task.  We must make systemic, logistic and cultural changes to succeed.  Making such changes requires concerted effort.

The Republican’s plan to mandate a specific number of courses only impedes this process.  It locks us into the very model for education from which we should be seeking to break free.

So, please Republicans, keep your focus on standards and resist the urge to set class schedules.

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One Response to “Set Standards not Class Schedules”

  1. Brad Jolly Says:

    On this we agree! Seat time counts for nothing; performance matters.

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