Every child in each grade will learn exactly the same material no matter where they are located. That is the premise of a national curriculum. Every fifth grader in the U.S. will cover exactly what is in the national curriculum. The same holds true for every grade until you get to high school. Will implementing a national curriculum fix the problems in the U.S. educational system?
A nationally standardized curriculum will set a high standard that every public school must adhere to. If a child moves from one location to another, they will not miss anything as the same material is being taught throughout the United States.
Teachers will have an easier job as there will be less red-tape. Teachers and school administrators will know the standards and have to cover the national curriculum before extra subjects are taught.
Testing will be simplified under a national curriculum. At the end of the year, every child takes a national test. As every child will take the same test, there will be no need for each state to issue their own versions of a nationally norm referenced test like Texas, Florida and North Carolina currently do.
Implementing a national curriculum will restrict learning opportunities for children. Serving the needs of struggling learners, gifted children, and children with learning and physical disabilities will become more difficult.
If a national curriculum becomes too rigid it could put textbook manufacturers out of business. With a standard curriculum comes a standard set of textbooks and workbooks. What happens when a teacher wishes to incorporate new technology or a new teaching method in the classroom?
Family values are another consideration. Many conservative families feel that current health education, sex education and science curriculum taught in the public schools go against their world view. Some smaller school districts in conservative areas have changed from an evolution based science curriculum to a creation based curriculum.
Private schools and homeschools are another consideration. Although public schools receive federal money and are mandated to follow the whims of the federal government as long as they accept that money, many private schools do not. The government is going to have a hard time regulating private schools that do not take federal education dollars.
Homeschools are a large group to consider. Although the Home School Legal Defense Association would like to see a national Christian based curriculum, many homeschoolers disagree with that perspective. Homeschool families, by nature, are an independent group. Currently, homeschooling is regulated at the state level. Legally the right to homeschool is covered under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A national curriculum would require a national set of homeschool standards.
Will the U.S. eventually adopt a national curriculum for the public school system? That remains to be seen. Implementing such a program would require a huge expenditure of resources and would require the approval of the teachers’ unions. What do you think? Leave your comments below so we can discuss it.
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