Curriculum changes ahead
As if parents didn't have enough to worry about, the West Virginia Board of Education is proposing new curriculum and testing guidelines for the public schools. And you've got until next Friday to look them over and provide your input. That's not much time for such an important proposal that we hope will remain in place for many years.
Curriculum and testing changes can be controversial. Witness the furor over Pennsylvania's "outcomes" learning system, the objectives of which were criticized as too vague to be useful. And then there's Maryland's School Performance Assessment Program, in which the test is so secret that a foundation hired to review it wasn't allowed to leave the state education headquarters building with a copy.
West Virginia may avoid such controversies with its curriculum, which seems to be a mix of facts the board believes students should know and skills they should learn by certain stages in their school careers.