My son told me yesterday that in "Advisory" they had to fill out a form about their learning styles, along with answering many other questions that even the kids thought were inappropriate. This, apparently, is part of a new state-mandated Individual Learning Plan (ILP) process, which is part of the bigger high school graduation standards that include a big portfolio (spanning years) and a senior project/presentation. This all boils down to how they can expect more without really expecting better grades.
This doesn't bother me too much because the better students can meet the requirements without a lot of effort and the senior project can be about almost anything. What I don't like is the spread to middle school and the emphasis on areas that fall outside of education. The following is from the regulations:
"All middle level schools and high schools shall implement strategies for creating more personalized learning environments, including the provision of a structure by which every student is assigned a responsible adult, in addition to a school counselor, who is knowledgeable about that student’s academic, career, and social/personal goals."
In other words, the school selected someone to act as an educational and social development mentor for my son. (This is a person who doesn't even like to have the kids say the word "war" near her.) They have him answer questions that I can't see or evaluate. Apparently, I can't opt-out.
I would like to hear about what's happening in other in other places. I told my son that when he fills out these forms, he has to be very careful about what he says. He doesn't know who will read them and what they might do. Apparently, counseling is trying to carve out a bigger, socially active niche in schools, and it's not opt-in.