Wow! Thanks, Michael Gove! BBC Education News Correspondent Sean Coughlan quoted Gove in 2013 as saying, “No national curriculum can be modernised without paying close attention to what’s been happening in education internationally,” citing Hong Kong, Massachusetts, Singapore and Finland as as “the world’s most successful school systems”.
Reminiscent of the U.S., teachers in England have confronted an ideological sentiment that their schools need reforming in order to address the downward spiral of their students on international measures of academic achievement. Under the leadership of Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron, led the initiative to re-write England’s national curriculum to make it more “rigorous, engaging and tough.” I wonder, however, if the writers of England’s revised curriculum examined Massachusetts’ standards and curriculum as a model. And, if they did, was it the set of standards and curriculum that created Massachusetts’ excellent education system and made it worthy of such praise? Or did they examine the one-size-fits all CCSS that was adopted by Massachusetts in order for their state to be aligned with the rest of the U.S.?
I wonder, too, why our country didn’t simply look to the Massachusetts’ education system for a model of excellence instead of embarking on the corporate inspired Achieve model for developing education standards? Another thought occurs to me as well. It seems that teacher tenure and teacher unions may very well be a very good thing for educational excellence. At least that’s the case in Massachusetts.