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Program 3:  Who determines the curriculum in the classroom?  Who should determine the curriculum?


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Our topic is particularly timely as we are currently in the midst of a hot debate about whether all of the states in our nation should agree to adopt a single set of standards for their schools and whether adopting a single set of standards will or should lead to the implementation of a national curriculum,

Our four guests take different perspectives on the issue.

Judy Wiegand, Assistant Superintendent for Achievement and Pupil Services in the Champaign Unit 4 tells us about the local, state, and national forces that determine the curriculum in an actual school district.

John Rudolph, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, gives us an historical overview of the forces shaping curriculum development with a particular focus on the development of curriculum in the area of science.

Eugenia Kemble, Executive Director of the Albert Shanker Institute explains why her institute favors the development of a common set of national standards, The Common Core State Standards,which currently have been adopted by 48 states,  and why the Shanker Institute has issued a manifesto calling for the development of curriculum materials to support these standards.

Sandra Stotsky, Professor of Educational Reform and holder of the 21st Century Chair of Teacher Quality at the University of Arkansas,  wants the individual state and the local district to maintain their control of the curriculum .  She speaks for a group of citizens and educators who have recently issued a manifesto opposing the development of national standards and nationally developed curricula to implement such standards.

Common Core State Standards

All speakers referred to the Common Core Standards developed last year and recently adopted by 48 states.  For more about them visit the following website:


First Guest:  Judy Wiegand discussed the variety of community, district, state, and federal demands that shape the curriculum of an actual school district such as the Champaign Unit 4 District.

State Influences on the Curriculum:

The Illinois School Code :  Look at Article 27: Courses of Study — Special Instruction for a list of curriculum requirements.


District Influences on the Curriculum

For more information about the school district, go to www.champaignschools.org/


Second Guest: John Rudolph
John referred to the impact of reading Joseph Schwab’s essays.  Joseph Scwab, Science Curriculum and Liberal Education: Selected Essays http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo3634168.html

In discussing the history of curriculum development in secondary school, he referred to the The Seven Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education – 1918

A summary of these principles can be found at http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/cardprin.html

The full text is available at http://www.archive.org/stream/cardinalprincipl00natirich#page/n7/mode/2up

To put these principles into context, read U.S. High School Curriculum: Three Phases of Contemporary Research and Reform Authors: Valerie E. Lee Douglas D. Ready which can be found at the following site:
John talked about the influence of professional associations on the development of curriculum.  The National Academy of Science Education is working on a new set of standards.  Go to http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bose/Standards_Framework_Homepage.html
Third Guest:  Eugenia Kemble talked about the Albert Shanker Institute letter signed by a variety of supporters that calls for the development of common core curriculum to support the Common Core State Standards,
Eugenia also mentioned the Council of Chief State Officers as a group involved in the development of the Common Core State Standards.  See their website address:
Fourth Guest: Sandra Stotsky

Sandra referred to a counter manifesto just published on May 6, 2011.  See http://www.k12innovation.com/Manifesto/_V2_Home.html
The following website contains more information about people and groups who hold similar views.
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