Monday, March 2, 2009

New Jersey drinks the Kool-Aid

OK, this one is a snoozer, posted to help me keep track of the players in the development of the state standards here in Jersey. I doubt few folks would be interested beyond those who pick up their names on LexisNexis or Google Alerts (/me waves to an intern at the e-Luminate Group.)



For years, many high schools educated students differently, depending on their plans for the future.

Now, because of all the changes in the world, all graduates will need to have the same knowledge and skills.


NJ STEPS: Redesigning Education
Powerpoint presentation (April, 2008)

The state of New Jersey's education policy wonks make no bones about their bed partners. New Jersey will "integrate 21st Century Knowledge and Skills"--the bold, capitalized letters are courtesy of the state.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills was founded in 2002 by Ken Kay and Diny Golder-Dardis "to create an education system that best prepares today’s students for tomorrow’s workplace" and included the following partners:
  • AOL Time Warner Foundation
  • Apple Computer, Inc.
  • Cable in the Classroom
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Dell Computer Corporation
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • National Education Association
  • SAP
  • U.S. Department of Education

Ken Kay's specialty is "marketing communications," which I suspect is the 21st century version of Madison Avenue Man. He sells ideas. He's "a Washington, D.C., insider"--pay him and he'll get you access.

Folks in Trenton are drinking his Kool-Aid.

***


According to The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website
Twenty first century skills are key to improving our nation’s competitiveness a knowledge driven economy.

Grammar is sooo 20th century
***


I love teaching, and I especially love teaching science. Science is not a knowledge-based industry. Science is about inquiry, about curiosity.

It's also about logic.

For years, many high schools educated students differently, depending on their plans for the future.

Now, because of all the changes in the world, all graduates will need to have the same knowledge and skills.


NJ STEPS: Redesigning Education
Powerpoint presentation (April, 2008)


I agree with NJ STEPS that the graduation requirements could use a little tinkering--I'd start by requiring Logic 101 for anyone who thinks the above makes sense.


Picture is of "Unisphere globe illuminated in darkness of World's Fair," via TimeLife via Google Life (noncommercial use)

3 comments:

John Spencer said...

I've mentioned this before, but in the 21st Century economy, conformity isn't really a marketable skill. Creativity and logical thinking (they do go hand in hand) are the new "job skills" and these go against the idea of having identical knowledge across the spectrum.

If we ignored Apple and Google in what they say and only look at their example, we'd see that creativity and ingenuity were key skills in their development as companies.

The founders of Google recieved a combo classical education (Sergey grew up reading Plato) mixed with Montessori schools.

I have a friend from high school who chose math as his major. People mocked him because they said it wouldn't be "practical." Now he's having the time of his life in a job that he loves.

lucychili said...

JS: Google wasn't on the list of companies. They openly publish their developer day videos. They feel to me to be quite consistent in their encouragement of critical enquiry, but perhaps I also drank the Kool-Aid =).

John Spencer said...

Good point about the Google thing. I just remember reading something from their CEO (a blow hard who is not one of the two founders) about how we were behind and they had to import talent from India and that the Americans are lazy and stupid (my paraphrase).