Leaders Call for Shared Curriculum Guidelines — from edweek.org by Catherine Gewertz
Diverse group says framework needed for new common standards

Seventy-five respected leaders in education, business, and government issued a call this week to devise shared curriculum guidelines for the new common standards.

The move is notable for finding common ground on a sensitive topic among an ideologically diverse group of thinkers. Signatories include political liberals and conservatives, and those with varying views on controversial education issues such as charter schools, testing policy, and ways to evaluate and compensate teachers.

From the “A Call for Common Content” webpage:
To be clear, by “curriculum” we mean a coherent, sequential set of guidelines in the core academic disciplines, specifying the content knowledge and skills that all students are expected to learn, over time, in a thoughtful progression across the grades. We do not mean performance standards, textbook offerings, daily lesson plans, or rigid pedagogical prescriptions.

From DSC:
This concerns me…
as such a call for common content would be more palatable to me if ALL academic disciplines were available and represented equally not just STEM-related items. Also, does the common content represent the average citizen? (Come to think of it, who/what is the average citizen and what do they want to pursue?)
I think that we need to move more towards an individualized/customized learning approach, where students can pursue their passions and God-given gifts. With dropout rates approaching 30%, is movement towards a common curriculum a step in the right direction? Will such a strategy decrease or increase the drop out rates? Will such a strategy end up creating a vanilla/cookie-cutter approach to K-12 education where you had better like STEM-related topics or else…oh well…better luck next time?
Your thoughts on this? Am I off-base on this?


  • 40 million American adults did not complete high school.
  • The high school graduate, on average, earns $500,000 more in a lifetime as compared to an individual who did not complete high school.
  • Most high school dropouts (70%) have the intellectual ability to complete the courses needed for high school graduation.
  • Most high school dropouts do not feel a connection between high school courses and future employment.
  • 75% of high school dropouts stated that if they could relive the experience, they would have stayed in high school.
  • 81% of dropouts expressed a need for schooling that connected academics and employment.
Addendum on 3/23/11: