Sunday, October 02, 2005

Everyone is telling teachers what to teach...

STUDENTS MUST KNOW: California has requested more information in its textbooks about Martin Luther King Jr. (l.) and labor organizer Cesar Chavez (r.).

Even in an era of standardized tests, state governments and others are adding mandatory subjects to schools.

| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

From urban Philadelphia to rural Illinois, the new school year also means new requirements for what, precisely, students must learn. In addition to their normal English classes, science labs, and test-prep work, more will be studying topics such as African history, personal finance, and genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda.

Curriculum mandates sometimes come top-down from state legislatures. Others spring from grass-roots demands on school boards. They're the product of a wrestling match of sorts - between American education's tradition of local control and the growing movement to standardize subject matter for the sake of global competitiveness.

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