Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

NEA Not Selling Out

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

NEA Not Selling Out

Article excerpt

Probably the two arguments that pose the most difficult challenges are those that come from either end of the continuum--those that are deeply based in empirical evidence and those that are fantastical. The proposition of the article by Susan Ohanian and Philip Kovacs (December)--that NEA's position on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (known in its current form as No Child Left Behind) is corrupted by its association with the Partnership for 21st Skills--falls into the latter category. What is of most concern is that something rooted only in the imagination of the authors could take up space in a serious education journal.

The Partnership framework--including high-level thinking, analysis, communications, and learning skills--matches the kind of education our members seek for their students. The Partnership's principles with regard to NCLB call for multiple forms of assessment, including classroom-based assessments, in order to foster these skills. It turns out that the increased public policy focus on preparing students to cough out isolated pieces of information is not only bad for education, but bad for business in today's world.

Virtually all of the major educator subject-area groups have collaborated with the Partnership to demonstrate how 21st-century skills can be incorporated into content instruction. Contrary to the "standardized curriculum" charge, the Partnership has launched an interactive website that encourages virtually limitless class-room-based resources. …

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