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Back to Jan. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 240 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JANUARY 2006

Globalization of Education Standards
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U.S. education laws, including the No Child Left Behind Act (an E.S.E.A reauthorization), incorporate and fund global education reform schemes from UNESCO, a United Nations agency.

At a February 2005 Education for All (EFA) conference, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings noted the likeness between NCLB and EFA. She said: "The No Child Left Behind Act and UNESCO's Education for All campaign complement each other." ("Mrs. Laura Bush Pays Tribute to UNESCO's Education for All Week," U.S. Department of Education, 4-27-2005)

Essential to global school reform are attitude, value, and behavior objectives that are present in the UNESCO-initiated International Baccalaureate Program (IB). The nonacademic issues have been incorporated into U.S. education standards that affect course contents, assessments, and teacher training.

Federally funded McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning) maintains a Compendium of Standards that includes an extensive list of Behavioral Studies and Life Skills standards and benchmarks. Most are either explicit or implied in IB Psychology and/or IB Social Anthropology.

Also identified with the nonacademic objectives is the U.S. Department of Labor's SCANS Report for America 2000, as well as several other sources.

Behavioral Studies and Life Skills tend to be vaguely worded. This has allowed these nonacademic outcomes to become an avenue for questionable content and activity, including controversial books and nosy surveys. As with IB schools that model UNESCO initiatives, even non-IB schools will contain similar questionable content when IB standards-based activity is used.

Under accountability mandates, children are required to be assessed for standards proficiency. Enter: the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The Minnesota-based organization EdWatch (formerly MrEdCo) found that "under the guise of testing language arts, the NAEP test is primarily measuring the goals, attitudes, beliefs and values of our students." EdWatch discovered that in the 1996 NAEP, only 19% involved "measurement of academic ability or achievement. The other 81% measure only the demographics, attitudes, values, beliefs and behavior of the student, and personal matters about the student's family."


 
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