The Maine Legislature has before it a bill titled “An Act to Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy” (LD 1422). Its goals are praiseworthy, but it mandates that schools use an essentially unproven method of instruction called “standards-based education,” a.k.a. “RISC” or “customized learning.”
It sets aside traditional methods of instruction that have been used in educating students throughout the world for many decades.
All schools receiving state funding for education will be required to use that method of instruction, whether parents want their children to be educated that way or not.
State government will have complete control over education and educational policy. Local control will be gone. Parents who wish their children to receive a traditional education will need to home school or send them to private schools.
Department of Education experts believe standards-based education is a panacea that will cure all that ails education and will enable students to meet the demands of the 21st century. It is computer-based and its benchmarks make extreme demands of schools and teachers.
The time and energy required to meet its many requirements will take away from the time and energy teachers need to spend instructing, planning and working on best educational methods within the traditional educational framework.
Its requirements are another distraction for already burdened educators as they try to keep up with the demands of their profession.
Maine people should not allow state government to further control their lives and their children’s education.
Douglas Ludewig, Monmouth