Friday, June 17, 2011

The National Science Education Standards

In my graduate class, we had a discussion about NSES and Oklahoma PASS.  Why are the NSES seemingly vague?  I think the key is in the word National.  Our education system, for good or bad, is based on local community standards.
When public education began, it was acknowledged that community standards varied greatly from coast to coast.  What was important in a small factory community in Massachusetts would differ wildly from that of a community like Auburn, CA which was a small mining community in the foothills of the Sierras.  And this was back around 1890.

These vast differences across the United States led to such a varied set of educational standards.  Now with increased globalization, the need for unifying, wide reaching standards has increased.  While globalization has pushed forward, many communities have resisted or pushed back because they feel that the globalization will diminish their community. How many of you have heard small town communities complain that young people do not stay past high school graduation?  In my class of 45, less than 20% still live within 5 miles of their home. 

While I sympathize with communities need to preserve themselves, I have worked for big global corporations and globalization is the future.  With the cost of global shipping at all time lows, with foreign markets influencing domestic ones, and with global information networks, our country's schizophrenic love of isolationism is coming to an end. 

While many complain about national standards, they will become more and more prevalent.  They are not going away.  Instead of sitting by and complaining about them, let's get involved and be part of the building of the national standards.  For the US to get out of our current economic situation, we need to start educating global leaders in the classroom today. 


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