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feature article reporting oregon & cascadia | united states

education | youth

Standardizing Early Childhood Education?

In Washington State Governor Locke's administration is proposing new benchmarks for young children. The Early Learning and Development Benchmarks represent new risks for Washington's children. Since the benchmarks were required under federal mandates, all the nation's children face these risks.

The first risk is that the tools themselves may be overly simplistic or too complex to be useful. This risk can only be evaluated in the context of the actual benchmarks, which will be made public on November 8.

Another risk is that the tools will be presented as value-neutral, when they cannot be anything but based on values. All educational practice reflects what is culturally valued for children to learn and to experience. That fact that the tools will reflect values is not a problem - but deciding whose values to reflect can present lots of problems.

[ liberation learning ]