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Re: [Phys-l] [ap-physics] 46 States, D.C. Plan to Draft Common Education Standards

I respectfully disagree. Just like standardized state tests have done much to improve the quality of teaching and learning (at least for the lower-end students - but not only for them, evidence suggests), having a national standard is likely to be helpful precisely because it changes "the value (or lack of it) that is placed upon learning in our society." The big concern in "our society" is that the US is losing its competitive edge to other countries - the US, not the state of Missouri or Alaska or whatnot - it's a national problem that requires a national solution, I think.

Of course, I was educated (high school + college) in the Soviet Union so I am sure I have my biases, comrades...


Boris Korsunsky, EdD
Weston High School
444 Wellesley St.
Weston MA 02493
781-529-8030 x 7609
From: [] On Behalf Of Bill Taylor []
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 12:44 AM
To: AP Physics
Subject: Re: [ap-physics] 46 States, D.C. Plan to Draft Common Education Standards

I say it means nothing -- people learn only to the extent that they
have an internalized desire to learn (learning, in this context,
meaning something that lasts more than a week). A common standard
does nothing to change the value (or lack of it) that is placed upon
learning in our society.

Bill Taylor
Physics, AP Physics, Rocketry Club

On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 5:19 PM, Richard Hake <> wrote:
If you reply to this long (8 kB) post please don't hit the reply button
unless you prune the copy of this post that may appear in your reply down to
a few relevant lines, otherwise the entire already archived post may be
needlessly resent to subscribers.
I thank Jerry Becker (2009) of the Math-Teach list for calling my attention
to the Maria Glod's (2009) Washington Post report "46 States, D.C. Plan to
Draft Common Education Standards."
Glod wrote [bracketed by lines "GGGGG. . . . .":

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia today will announce an effort
to craft a single vision for what children should learn each year from
kindergarten through high school graduation, an unprecedented step toward a
uniform definition of success in American schools.

The push for common reading and math standards marks a turning point in a
movement to judge U.S. children using one yardstick that reflects
expectations set for students in countries around the world at a time of
global competition. Today, each state decides what to teach in third-grade
reading, fifth-grade math and every other class. Critics think some set a
bar so that students can pass tests but, ultimately, are ill-prepared.

Led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State
School Officers, the states, including Maryland and Virginia, are aiming to
define a framework of content and skills that meet an overarching goal. When
students get their high school diplomas, the coalition says, they should be
ready to tackle college or a job. The benchmarks would be "internationally

Once the organizers of the effort agree to a proposal, each state would
decide individually whether to adopt it.

The nearly complete support of governors for the effort -- LEADERS IN TEXAS,
Alaska, Missouri and South Carolina are the only ones that HAVE NOT SIGNED
ON -- is key. Many Republicans oppose nationally mandated standards, saying
schools should not be controlled by Washington. But there is broad support
for a voluntary effort that bubbles up from the states. [My CAPS.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Judging from the state of science education in Texas [Hake (2009a,b,c)] we
can thank our lucky stars that leaders of the Lone Star State have NOT
signed on. For example, the abstract of "Science Education in Texas #4"
[Hake (2009c)] reads:
ABSTRACT: The National Center for Science Education (NCSE
<>) reported that (a) "the Texas Senate voted NOT to
confirm Don McLeroy in his post as chair of the Texas state board of
education on May 28, 2009," and (b) according to the Houston Chronicle
"there is speculation in the Capitol and within the Texas Education Agency
that Gov. Rick Perry might elevate Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, to lead the
board." Dunbar is the author of One Nation Under God that advocates more
religion in the public square. According to a Dallas Morning News report by
Christy Hoppe (2006), Texas Gov. Rick Perry "believes that non-Christians
are doomed."
To access the 7 kB complete post, please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
24245 Hatteras Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands.

Becker, J. 2009. "46 States, D.C. Plan to Draft Comm Educ Stds," Math Teach
post of 2 Jun 2, 2009 1:14 PM (what time zone?), online on the OPEN
Math-Teach archives at
Glod, M. 2009. "46 States, D.C. Plan to Draft Common Education Standards,"
Washington Post, 1 June; online at <>, and also
"beckered" into the Math Teach archives by Jerry Becker (2009) in accord
with the "fair use" provision of U.S. Copyright Law as provided for in
Section 107, Title 17, according to which copyrighted material can be
distributed, if it's done so without profit, to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving the included information for research and
educational purposes. For more information see
<> .
Hake, R.R. 2009a. "Science Education in Texas #2," online on the OPEN!
AERA-L archives at <>. Post of 28 May 2009
21:01:29 -0700 to AERA-L, Net-Gold, & PhysLrnR. The abstract is also online
with a provision for comments. As of 2 June 15:40:00-0700 the number of
AP-Physics responses had risen to 67 !! , not counting about 7 posts with
slight changes in the subject line.]
Hake, R.R. 2009b. "Science Education in Texas #3," online at
with a provision for comments. Post of 31 May 2009 09:57:22-0700 to AP-Bio
(evidently rejected), Biopi-L, Physhare, PhysLrnR, & Physoc.
Hake, R.R. 2009c. "Science Education in Texas #4," online on the OPEN!
AERA-L archives at <>. Post of 2 Jun 2009
12:58:43-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract is also online at
with a provision for comments.

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Bill Taylor
415 218 6201

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