Monday is a good day to start out on a positive (always apprehensive) note. It appears the Obama/Duncan team is supporting "open source" educational curriculum for high school and college work. The details are in the Legislative Update from Education Legislative Services.
The president is proposing to invest $500 million over the next 10 years to create world-class online college and high school courses that will be available to all 24/7/365."
"Colleges, universities, publishers, other institutions and related consortia will be invited to compete to create state-of-the-art online courses that combine high-quality subject matter expertise with the latest advances in cognitive and computer sciences."
"Such courses will enable students to move through the material at their own pace. When students do not understand a particular lesson or concept, carefully designed assessments will identify the gap in their learning. They’ll relearn the material and have another chance to demonstrate mastery."
"Such an open-source, easily accessible system of robust courses will produce the most profound equalization of access to cutting-edge knowledge and information since the creation of the public library. We will see the creation of new companies, perhaps even entirely new industries, situated squarely in the knowledge sector, which is so crucial to our national and global economic success."
It does sound like a library situation, which is a robust educational success in communities. This proposal does leave me with some questions. If it’s open source, could this be used by all teens, et al, just as homeschoolers use the infinite number of educational resources that are accounted for in colleges? That’s with the assumption that is wanted by the scholar. A lot of educational authorities’ focus is on a college degree. I’m pleased that our car mechanic knows how our car works (or not) without a degree. Significantly, he loves his job too.
If the federal goverment sinks money into programs, I can’t think of an instance where their sketchy accountability wasn’t also required.
Last month, I’d mentioned MIT OpenCourseWare program that included all MIT courses this fall.