Rapporto della fondazione Achieve: "Closing The Expectations Gap:2007"

Rapporto della "Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce": Tough Choices or Tough Times, 2007

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Il sistema va cambiato, ma come?

Anche negli Stati Uniti si discute e si lavoro sulla crisi dell’insegnamento secondario e soprattutto sulla necessità di riformare l’insegnamento secondario di secondo grado. I tempi sono cambiati e non si può più continuare a preservare il sistema di un tempo.

La fondazione Achieve osserva ogni anno le riforme intraprese nei cinquanta stati e le compara con l’impegno preso a livello nazionale di elevare le esigenze, di inasprire la qualità degli studi. Il rapporto di quest’anno osserva che un quarto degli Stati ha modificato le esigenze per ottenere il diploma ( "Fifty-State Survey Finds One-Quarter of All States Have Made Graduation Requirements Tougher").

La Commissione federale sulle competenze della manodopera americana ha rilasciato all’inizio dell’anno un rapporto le cui proposte hanno sollevato un’ intenso dibattito che è qui riportato.

Closing the Expectations Gap, 2007, Achieve

Risultati poco brillanti finora, come non esita a dirlo Chester Finn, presidente della Thomas B. Fordham Foundation e del Thomas B. Fordham Institute Washington, DC, nel suo resoconto su Education Gadfly del 19 aprile. Più o meno si marcia sul posto.

Achieve, Inc. deserves kudos for this "second annual" survey of states’ progress "on the alignment of high school policies with the demands of college and work," an outgrowth of the American Diploma Project and the 2005 high school summit. But applaud softly, please, because the data presented here don’t show huge progress and some of them indicate progress in directions that may not bear scrutiny. Get beyond the executive summary and you will encounter glum news about how few states are really aligning their high school exit and college entrance expectations (in the sense of common "cut scores," not shared aspirational standards); how few have continuous data systems that bridge the K-12 to postsecondary divide; how few hold their high schools to account for the subsequent performance of their graduates; and more. Consider, for example, that in just one of fifty states (New York) do "postsecondary institutions find the state’s end-of-course high school tests... challenging enough to determine whether incoming students are prepared to enroll in credit-bearing courses." Yes I know, it’s barely two years since the summit—but it’s 24 years since A Nation at Risk, which cast most of its recommendations in terms of beefing up high school expectations and (vaguely) linking them to college requirements. Achieve does good work and we at Fordham are proud of our affiliation with the American Diploma Project, but the evidence presented in this report suggests mighty slow progress by states in long-overdue directions.

Si veda inoltre l’articolo di Linn Olson su "Education Week": Policy Push Redefining High School. State activities surge, but college readiness elusive,18 aprile 2007.. L’articolo è protetto e può essere letto in linea solo se si è abbonati a Education Week.

Tough Choices for Tough Times: Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, National Center on Education and the Economy, Washington D.C., 2006

Resoconto di Chester Finn, presidente della Thomas B. Fordham Foundation e del Thomas B. Fordham Institute Washington, DC, in Education Gadfly del 14 dicembre 2006:

In the specialized universe of blue-ribbon panel reports on reforming U.S. education, this new planet gets an honors grade. Released today by a commission chaired by Charles B. Knapp and containing such eminences as Dick Riley, John Engler, Joel Klein, Rod Paige, Tom Payzant, and Bill Brock, it’s mostly the work of Marc Tucker’s National Center on Education and the Economy and, loosely, the successor to that center’s influential 1990 report on skills needed by the American workforce. Sixteen years later, the topic is worth revisiting. The world economy has changed dramatically and so have the challenges that the nation and its workforce face. This report does an exemplary job of displaying and explaining both the challenges and the changes that need to be made—ten big recommendations—and painting a vivid portrait of what America would look like if we actually do those things. It’s no simple laundry list; the recommendations are tightly linked and closely integrated. They include developing standards, assessments, and curricula that reflect today’s needs and tomorrow’s requirements, and they span and amalgamate several different reform strategies, drawing the essence from each. They’re big and bold. No single faction in American education will like all of them—a universal level of unhappiness is one definition of consensus—and that’s why implementation is going to prove a huge challenge. But this report could turn out to be a fit successor to A Nation at Risk. You should read it. Before doing so, you might want to read what Mr. Flat-world himself, the New York Times’s Thomas Friedman, has to say about it.

Si veda pure l’aticolo di Mark Tucker, co-presidente della commissione, in Education Week: ‘Tough Choices’: Change the System, or Suffer the Consequences del 17 gennaio 2007, nonché il carteggio dedicato a questo rapporto dalla rivista Phi Delta Kappan, No. 10, vol. 88, giugno 2007. Entrambi i contributi sono leggibili in linea solo se abbonati alle due riviste.

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