Oops, I did it again. NCLB is out! We’re talking about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
A front page piece appeared in today’s Times about where ESEA is headed. Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), the engine of NCLB, appears to be heading for the hills, to be replaced by a broader measurement of progress, and a focus on “college and career readiness.”
The college and readiness piece is an interesting one, and would certainly be a major advance for ESEA. We’ve been hearing for quite some time now the concerns in higher education over those who graduate high school, “hit the numbers,” but are clearly unprepared for college. Ditto for career and technical education. This state of unpreparedness is not only connected to performance on standardized tests, but brings into consideration a much wider range of issues most believe are related to a well-rounded education, that includes the arts.
This would be a great time to think about what a broader, more balanced education should look like and to that end, I suggest you take a look at this report, released last June by Common Core: Why We’re Behind: What Top Nations Teach Their Students But We Don’t.
I blogged on this report last year, but wonder how many took the time to give it a read. In many respects, its the best argument I’ve encountered in a long time for arts education and a well-rounded education, and not only connects to where ESEA is headed, but should help get those who wring hands about our educational shortcomings compared to other nations thinking a bit more broadly.