Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some Important Omissions?

Previously on Gooseberry Lane, I printed the “Assumptions Regarding Secondary School Redesign” that were included in a document from the Connecticut Education Commissioner and the State Board of Education. Looking further at the “Framework of Ad Hoc Committee,” I find the core curriculum that will be required of all students:
- Algebra I
- Geometry

- Biology
- Physics

History & Social Science
- American History: Settlement to the Civil War
- American History: Civil War to September 11, 2001

- Reading & Writing About Literature
- Reading & Writing About History & Political Science

- Art Appreciation
- Music Appreciation
- Portfolio/Demonstration

World Language
- Intermediate proficiency in speaking & writing a single language
I also find “Pathways Leading to Post-Secondary Education or Career Option” that include additional coursework:
Path 1: Math/Science/Engineering
- Mathematics: Algebra II, Calculus A or B
- Science: Chemistry, Biochemistry, AP Biology or Physics
- Computer Science: Computer Programming
- Senior Research Project

Path 2: Humanities
- Literature: Epic & Lyric Poetry, Plays of Shakespeare, the Novel
- Humanities: Art History, Music History
- Portfolio: Studio Art, Dance, Theatre, or Creative Writing
- Senior Project
Where is Music in the Humanities Path portfolio? Where is World History in the core curriculum? Where are the required literature courses that have students reading great novels and plays, rather than just reading about them? For that matter, where is Economics? Better yet, where is the American Government class that will be required coursework for all students, will be worth one credit, and will continue for an entire year? After all, if a democratic republic is only as strong as the “smarts” of the people from whom the government derives power, wouldn’t it be a good idea to ensure that future generations of our country actually understand the government for which they are responsible?

If this “framework” is the starting point, I respectfully suggest that the Connecticut education officials head back to the drawing board.

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