Just take a gander at the responses to my opinion piece in the Louisville Courier-Journal which were published on Monday. According to Brad Matthews, former director of curriculum and assessment for the Jefferson County Public Schools, one reason we need these unapproved and forcibly implement standards is to extirpate that bane of all modern permissivist educators: memorization.
"Science education has moved away from the memorization of many facts," says Matthews, "and toward understanding how the laws and principles of science are applied."
That's right: students have memorized too many facts. Their heads are bursting with scientific facts. There is not enough room in their tiny little brains for an understanding of how these facts should be applied because all the room us currently taken up by scientific facts which these students have memorized. There is simply no space in those fact-crowded little heads for scientific concepts.
The solution is obvious to people like Matthews: clear all that knowledge out of there so they will be able to apply the knowledge they will no longer have under these standards.
Just check out some of those Jefferson County schools Matthews had a hand in overseeing and you'll see the extent to which kids are overstuffed with memorized factual knowledge.
What exactly is it that modern educators have against memorized knowledge of facts? And why is it that they are always pitting facts against application and concepts? Is the possession of memorized facts really inconsistent with an ability to apply scientific procedures and an understanding of scientific ideas?
Since we're now abandoning memorization, we can apparently look forward to the prospect of Kentucky students knowing fewer facts than ever before.
What a relief.