The Atlantic Asks, “What Should Students Know upon Graduation?”

September 5th, 2016

Public_School_Pic - CopyMore specifically, The Atlantic asked various education experts the question: What should students be expected to know by the time they leave school.” Here are some snippets from their responses:

  • “Students should leave school with the ability to think critically and independently, to leverage and adapt to ever-shifting technology and modes of communication, to navigate and direct their own independent research, and to understand how to collaborate with others…” ~ Rita Pin Abrens, education director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
  • “Anyone who claims to know what students will need to know and be able to do 20 years from now is engaging in speculation… Our society needs adults who are competent, critical readers who can write with clarity and purpose. Fluency in math is important not only for the development of computational skills, but also becasue of the abstract reasoning it develops… They need knowledge of historical events along with the ability to analyze those events from differing points of view…” ~ Carol Burris, executive director, Network for Public Education
  • “Students need content to equip them for their future lives as adults–traditional subjects, but also courses in psychology, economics, life skills, drugs/medicine, health, and philosophy/world religions…” ~ Catherine Cushinberry, executive director, Parents for Public Schools
  • “A core set of standards will be critical for all students to master–or, in some cases, gain exposure to–in English, mathematics, history, and science. These standards should be fewer, such that as students master them, they can go deep in areas they enjoy to find their passions and develop expertise…” ~ Michael Horn, co-founder, Clayton Christensen Institute
  • “The goal of preK-12 education will be to ensure that students graduate with options. They will be able to move on to higher education or into a well-paying career and have the skills and knowledge to do so…” ~ Michelle Rhee, founder of Students First & former chancellor of D.C. public schools
  • “Sure, there’s a baseline of what kids should know before graduating. Every student will be able to read and think critically. Every student will understand enough math and science to navigate the world around them. Every student will be exposed to the arts and to strategies that address their well-being, both physically and emotionally…” ~ Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers.

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