Some US High Schools Return to Electives (gasp)

We hold these truths to be self evident: that giving students some choice in their own learning directions is likely to lead to them becoming more actively engaged in their own learning, and likely to help them find that ‘thing’ they love.

So, I was pleased to read in the NY TImes today that some US high schools are returning to electives as a tool to keep senior students interested in school.

The comment that caught my eye though, in light of our Federal Government’s recent interest in NY style schooling and national curriculum imperatives was this:

After years in which tight school budgets and a battery of federal and state testing mandates have narrowed curriculums nationwide to emphasize basic reading, math and science, Pelham and a handful of other high-performing school districts have begun to expand their course catalogs with electives.

Narrowing curriculum? Federal testing mandates? Sound familiar?