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Gretchen is taking a hiatus from MEW writing duties for the next several weeks.  Anne and Cheri will continue their excellent reporting on local/state/national educational news and if you have any tidbits of information (your experiences in education or interesting stories), send your tips to Anne:

For instance, we’d like to know about stories like this: Georgetown students say U.S. Constitution taken ‘too seriously’



or how curriculum is now geared toward mind mapping and outcome based goals vs providing curriculum for students to authentically learn to think for themselves in Outcome-Based Education: Building Student Success Models With Outcome-Based Curriculum Mapping Tools:


And what is mind mapping? Mind mapping is essentially a nonlinear form of outlining. The idea is to make an organically associated diagram of words, concepts, ideas, tasks, decisions, or other information, and to link individual items as their associations demand. Mind maps can be used to generate ideas, represent complex ideas and relationships, classify related items, and to assist one’s thinking, study, writing, and decision making.

Outcome-based education curriculum means starting with a clear picture of what is important for students to be able to do, then organizing the curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make sure this learning ultimately happens. Clarity of focus is easily achieved by helping students to develop the knowledge, skills, and personalities using online assignments and assessments that will enable students to achieve the intended outcomes. Curriculum is designed by mind mapping the intended outcomes that students are to achieve by the end of the program. Teaching methods and assessments are then made to ensure achieve this desired end result. Then, performance standards are configured to encourage students to develop critical thinking and analytical skills to promote successful learning. Students are provided expanded opportunities through advanced technology tools to achieve high standards in learning.


or providing your own stories from the education reform web.  A reader’s comment from a recent MEW blog post:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for researching, writing and sharing this!!!!! I was a home visitor with the Parents as Teachers program from 1994 until 2011. Way back in the 90’s I remember a handout that would be shared with and discussed with parents about the concerns that the Academy of Pediatrics had about too much screen time with young children…..WAY BACK IN THE 90’s!!!!!! I also used to take great pride and believed whole-heartedly that PARENTS ARE THE BEST AND FIRST TEACHERS OF THEIR CHILDREN. Therefore, if something in your gut and mind is saying, “This just doesn’t feel right,” then IT PROBABLY ISN’T. You are your child’s advocate. You are responsible for the well-being and safety of your child. NO ONE ELSE, much less the Government, is in charge. YOU ARE!!!! I left that program after having my third baby in 2011. It had changed so much and had become so controlled on the Federal Level, that I was depressed and had taken to just doing what I KNEW to be right at a home visit, even though I had been instructed to do something else. I was just waiting for the day I would be fired. But God had other plans. HE gave us a little surprise in the form of my pregnancy at age 43. There was my OUT! Since leaving PAT, I have immersed myself in fighting COMMON CORE. Just the other day, I was thinking to myself, I really need to talk with my 8-year-old son’s teacher and just how much they do on screens. He becomes so angry and agitated when given too much screen time at home. I CANNOT allow too much at school. Your article articulated my needling worry so very well. Thank you for giving me the kick in the butt I needed!


See you all in a few weeks!




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