Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"Who controls the benchmarks controls education" 

Professor Plum finds a case for school choice, or at least the choice to get the hell out of Newton, Massachusetts. He annotates this essay, in which we learn that the grade 1-8 benchmarks for math education in the Newton Public School System do not contain any mention of the four basic operations of mathematics but instead
Respect for Human Differences - students will live out the system wide core of 'Respect for Human Differences' by demonstrating anti-racist/anti-bias behaviors." It continues, "Students will: Consistently analyze their experiences and the curriculum for bias and discrimination; Take effective anti-bias action when bias or discrimination is identified; Work with people of different backgrounds and tell how the experience affected them; Demonstrate how their membership in different groups has advantages and disadvantages that affect how they see the world and the way they are perceived by others...

Scores on Massachusetts' standardized tests there have fallen.