subject part of the sentence and simply
complete it in imperative form: Compare and contrast the point of view from
which different stories are narrated, in-cluding;the;difference;between;first;and
third-person narrations. (
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL. 4. 6) 7
While you and I might argue about
whether this is an appropriate objective
for a ten-year-old, or whether that state-ment;is;actually;specific;enough;to;deter-mine if a student has acquired such an
ability, the real problem is a different one:
There are absolutely no consequences if a
student does not meet that criterion. Will
he remain in fourth grade until he can
In truth, a student could fail to meet
every established standard for his or her
grade level, and he or she would still go
on to the next grade level simply by merit
of being a year older! These are not stan-dards;;they;are;at;best;wishful;thinking,
at worst vague semantics, and most certainly windfalls for publishers who can
now incorporate these important new
standards into every page of their wonderful new (and even more expensive)
If you want standards, you have to give
3.Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
lie, lay, and run.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules
for principal marks of Punctuation.
words and show therein that you
understand the practical use of the
rules of grammar. 8
Not passing this exam would mean not
being promoted to ninth grade. These
learning objectives (though painful)
were rigorous, achievable, and concrete;
So what does all this standards brouhaha mean to homeschoolers? Well, it may
depend;on;one’s;thinking.;If;you;are;con-cerned that curricula which purport to
meet the newest standards will somehow
dumb down your children, you may want
to boycott certain publishers (though
you might accidentally exclude some ex-cellent;time-tested;materials;that;haven’t
changed a bit, but do happen to “meet or
to basically ignore the vague and ineffectual language of modern standards and
focus;on;teaching;the;basic;skills;of;read-ing, writing, logic and arithmetic, you
take;them);and;excel;in;university;class-es when they reach that level. If you are
part of a charter school or program that
is required by law to incorporate the new
standards, you will probably see things
change—but also stay the same.
As Solomon wisely observed, “What
has been will be again, what has been done
will be done again; there is nothing new
under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1: 9 NIV). 9
The newest version of the idea will prove
no more effective than earlier efforts.
Academic standards initiatives (in the
modern sense) cannot really accomplish
becomes nothing but an oxymoron.
Andrew Pudewa is the director of the
Institute for Excellence in Writing (www
. excellenceinwriting.com) and a home-schooling father of seven. Presenting
throughout North America, he addresses
issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity and
insight, practical experience and humor.
He and his beautiful, heroic wife, Robin,
currently teach their two youngest children
at home in northeastern Oklahoma.
9. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken
The newest version
NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan
of the idea will prove
no more effective
than earlier efforts.