kitchen table math, the sequel: 'switched on Mom' says they're rolling out initiatives down Montgomery County way

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

'switched on Mom' says they're rolling out initiatives down Montgomery County way

"Once a child is identified as being three years behind it shouldn't matter whether they are purple, from the planet Ork; they need placement that is appropriate to get them back on track. Anything less is just child abuse disguised as political correctness."

And yet where I live (Montgomery County, MD) the drive is precisely toward heterogeneous classrooms, and away from homogeneous grouping. They they are rolling out something called The Seven Keys to College Readiness. Benchmarks are being set that are unrealistic for some students, and too low for others. Advocates who call for more homogeneous grouping and a differentiated gifted curriculum are painted as elitists and even racists.

Elitists and racists, no doubt. Parents are stinkers.

Still and all, it could always be worse (and, if experience is a guide, it will be). At least the concept of college readiness has caught the attention of the folks running Montgomery schools.

Unlike here. The folks running my own district (per pupil spending: $26,718) will have no truck with college readiness.

Last fall I asked the administration to include "college preparation" on the new 21-page Strategic Plan.

They said no.

Actually, they didn't even say 'no.' What they said was:
The strategic plan does not have specific mention of college readiness or international benchmarks. However, as a practice we are reviewing the Standards for Success—which you know is based on University preparedness.

Yes, indeed, I do know. I happen to own the book. Also, I possess all of the pdf file downloads that comprise the book, and I know where to find them on my hard drive. Ed read the history standards & says they are sound.*

So this is a terrific resource, and we can all sleep soundly at night knowing it is being "reviewed." But it's not on the Plan.

You can find all of the Standards for Success material here. (Click on "ordering information" for pdf files.) College work samples in English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Second Languages here.

Universities Push to Influence State Tests for High School Students
Understanding University Success
review of College Knowledge by David Conley

* for passersby: Ed is a historian


SwitchedOnMom said...

Thanks for the mention, Catherine! As a longtime reader, I'm honored. If you're interested, I just put up a post about attending one of the "Seven Keys to College Readiness" community meetings. You can see it here:

Catherine Johnson said...

oh my gosh!

I didn't know you had a blog!

(How did that happen --- )