January 21, 1998

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Vol. 17, Issue 19
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Language follows the patterns of ease and efficiency we find in nature. A stream flows around hills, through valleys. For one thing, it's often awkward to say something effectively except "incorrectly." You can't always gracefully recast "different than" to "different from," generally considered more correct. You may not always want to recast sentences or revise punctuation according to classical rules when it seems better to be more natural.
National testing and national curriculum are one and the same. In spite of U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley's assertion that it is possible to support national testing (which he does) and oppose national curriculum (which he also does), most educators agree that "what is tested is what will be taught."
As academics, we are concerned with other matters: Will our research project work out, will we get that grant, will our students leave our classes with all the knowledge we want them to gain? These are not trivial matters, but they are very different from those faced by practicing teachers and other school professionals.
Public education advocates are now in a panic. The "V" word is seemingly on everyone's lips, and voucher advocates boast that polls show a majority of the public now favors their approach, signaling that people's faith in the so-called bureaucratic "blob" is finally ebbing.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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