Check out the transcript chronicling a debate between Alfie Kohn and Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. The subject of the debate was national curriculum, I mean “common core standards.”
Alfie Kohn: “There’s a strong political interest in representing national standards as being merely “core” standards and to emphasize that the feds aren’t driving it (just funding it!)…
I’m troubled by the P.R. campaign I see: We’ll satisfy the politicians and corporations that want “rigorous, specific, enforceable, clear, defined standards” — but we’ll also reassure teachers that we won’t tell you how to teach. This doesn’t add up.”
Alfie eats his opponents lunch. Note how mr. Wilhoit refuses to answer even the most basic of questions Mr. Kohn asks of him.
I am delighted to have Alfie Kohn on the team for Constructing Modern Knowledge 2010, July 12-15, 2010 in Manchester, NH. Educators across the United States and in countries emulating our race-to-the-bottom owe Alfie a great debt of gratitutde for his wisdom and courage.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.