According to an article in yesterday's Sunday Star Ledger, New Jersey is poised to adopt new graduation requirements. Students will be subjected to a number of additional state-mandated tests in order to graduate, and will be expected to achieve more rigorous academic standards.
I am sure my readers will not be surprised to know that I am not a big proponent of standardized testing, or of school in general. The reasons for my aversion to "academic rigor" and the reliance on tests to describe one's intelligence (define one's self esteem?) are far too numerous to detail here, but suffice it to say, as a recovering "gifted child", I am painfully aware of the flaws in the system.
However, New Jersey educators may be taking a step in the right direction after all. According to the article, "The new standards aim to equip high school grads with '21st-century skills' including critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication and collaboration."
It should, if you are familiar with Humane Education and the work of Zoe Weil. According to Weil, the elements of Humane Education (and, by extension, Humane Parenting) include curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. So, if our public schools are being mandated to teach these things in classrooms statewide, then I say, Hooray!
Now let's hope that little is lost in the execution. I'm not keeping my hopes up.