Here’s the problem: public schools are sometimes mediocre; children learn little; but parents don’t find out until it’s too late.
Question is, how can parents check on a school’s performance? How can they know if children are falling behind schedule
“What parents need,” according to Bruce Price, the founder of Improve-Education.org, “is simple benchmarks suggesting the subjects that children would typically study in each grade. I’m talking about really simple rules of thumb, comparable to ‘children usually walk by two and talk by three.’ We need the same sort of guidelines for each grade. It probably doesn’t matter if the child is a year ahead or behind. The big danger in that students slip several years behind. That’s what we absolutely need to stop.”
Improve-Education.org has just added “43: American Basic Curriculum,” which is intended to help parents monitor how their children are doing.
“The material is very brief,” Price points out. “It has to be. This is not a curriculum in the sense of listing everything a child studies. This material is designed to set brackets on where a child should be.”
For example, the entry for 2nd-grade math says in toto: “Count to 50; add and subtract 2-digit mumbers.” Point is, it’s easy for parents to assess these skills. American Basic Curriculum (ABC) gives parents a little more insight and control.
Asked to explain his inspiration for American Basic Curriculum, Price answered: “I noticed that some public schools are quite irresponsible. Students might get A’s in reading but not be able to read! So I started thinking about providing a safety net to prevent the worst case scenarios. A lot of parents want to be more involved; but they don’t know how. Here’s a place to start. They can compare notes. Can your child do this? Can your child do that?”
“43: American Basic Curriculum” is part of a broader concept called Parallel Education, an umbrella term for all the things parents are doing OUTSIDE of the schools to compensate for what is not done properly INSIDE the schools. American Basic Curriculum is one example of where Parallel Education can go.
The article also discusses Foundational Knowledge, and why it’s so crucial.
Bruce Price is the founder of Improve-Education.org, a leading voice for education reform. His fifth book is “THE EDUCATION ENIGMA–What Happened to American Education.”