Who should control schooling and determine the curriculum?


This is a tricky question but the majority of teachers who participated in this poll feel that local school communities should control schooling and determine the curriculum. Local or state government came second in the votes, with the federal government and private sector coming a distant third and fourth.

The most popular responses shared the local theme. Teachers believe that an organization on the local or state level should be in control. The problem with this is lack of continuity across the country with regard to education. Children in different states may end up learning entirely different things. Would local and state history be given more weight than national history in the classroom?

Part of the strength of the United States is equal opportunity for all citizens. The American dream is touted worldwide as a standard worthy of upholding. If all students are not given equal educational opportunities then this standard begins to waver. Having a federal entity control curriculum means that all students receive the same level of education.

On the other hand, having a local or state organization in charge of curriculum means that student needs in localized areas could be more readily addressed. Gearing curriculum towards local or state interests and goals could be beneficial to both the area and the students. As long as guidelines of types of curriculum are met then all students across the country would be meeting the same standards but with different lesson plans.

It's a thorny issue but one that the majority of teachers feel would be better addressed from a local standpoint. Whether it would be local school communities or local or state government is a debate for another time. Most teachers agree, however, that we don't want curriculum determined by the private sector. The thought of education for profit is disturbing to say the least.

For now, local school districts will continue to set curriculum and see to its implementation with funding from all levels of government. With the majority of teachers feeling this is the best option, things are unlikely to change anytime soon and those in the teaching profession should know best what is needed to educate our children.