PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Revisions in the high school graduation requirements were approved unanimously Tuesday night by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. Under the new rules, which will apply to eighth graders who will graduate in 2021, the state will no longer require adequate performance on standardized tests for graduation, although students are still required to take the tests. Students also will have to demonstrate proficiency through a senior project, exhibition or portfolio, for which the state will set the scoring standards.Download it at tinyURL.com/RhodeIslandNews
portfolio and exhibitions."
❊ be lifelong learners❊ be passionate❊ be ready to take risks❊ be able to problem-solve and think critically❊ be able to look at things differently❊ be able to work independently and with others❊ be creative❊ care and want to give back to their community❊ persevere❊ have integrity and self-respect❊ have moral courage❊ be able to use the world around them well❊ speak well, write well, read well, and work well with numbers ❊ truly enjoy their life and their work.
To me, these are the real goals of education.
The typical school principal pats his or her belly with satisfaction and smiles proudly when he or she walks through silent halls. To me, a silent school is not a school at all. Dewey has great stuff to say on this. First: “The nonsocial character of the traditional school is seen in the fact that it erected silence into one of its prime virtues.”6 But even better, he says, “Enforced quiet and acquiescence prevent pupils from disclosing their real natures.”7
“Enforced quiet” not only keeps kids from being themselves and keeps teachers from finding out who the kids are, it also kills learning.Communication is the lifeblood of education. My favorite description of The Met is that it is an “ongoing conversation.” Numerous visitors to the school have called it this, but my friend Deborah Meier, the noted principal and educator, really got to the heart of it when she wrote this after a Met visit:
The young people that I met had no trouble talking to me about all kinds of subjects having to do with themselves as learners—and not to mention the world around them, but also about themselves and about the school itself. And the conversations were like having a conversation with a colleague. And I saw that going on throughout the school, this kind of informal but respect- ful conversation. The school was an enormous conversation between people who appeared to be there voluntarily, who seemed to feel that this was a community in which people gathered together every day because the environment was intellectually and emotionally stimulating.8
- Do I know about my students’ individual interests and talents?
- Do I help my students understand how learning contributes to our community and the world?
- Can my students learn things in an order that fits their own learning style(s)?
- Do my students have opportunities to tinker and make guesses?
- Do my students have real choices about what, when and how to learn and demonstrate their abilities?
That was an open letter to journalists. I have addressed it to Virginia Hughes, who has blogged for National Geographic and written for the New Yorker. Virginia has written about "PEAK EXPERIENCES" and how to get into the "zone."