Meltzer: Education law fixes are flawed: Mandates called ‘ridiculous, absurd’

From the article:


“Nobody does all the learning results,” she continued. “We know no one is doing it because you can’t do it. So, districts have been picking and choosing.”

School districts across the state have taken three different approaches to the proficiency law, according to Meltzer.

“Many of the wealthier, well-performing districts that don’t get a lot [of money] from the state are doing what they always did,” she said. “They’re not doing anything different, but they’re calling it whatever it is the state says they have to call it.”

“Then there were a lot of districts that said, ‘We’re just going to wait and see what we absolutely have to do.’”

Meltzer said another group of school districts, including the MDIRSS, have tried to adopt parts of the law that they think are worthwhile.

And she said that, as with the original law, the proposed amendments were drafted without a thorough, statewide discussion of educational goals and a consensus on how to achieve them. In addition, she said, it isn’t at all clear what some of the proposed amendments mean.

“What does it mean to have multiple pathways for career education at elementary, middle and high school, for example? I don’t know what that even means.”

Meltzer said she and other curriculum coordinators around the state were “really energized by the idea that we would hold ourselves accountable for certain things we felt were important for kids to leave school with.”

But she said the Department of Education has lacked the money, personnel and leadership to help school districts implement a uniform program of proficiency-based learning standards.

Meltzer: Education law fixes are flawed: Mandates called ‘ridiculous, absurd’


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