Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No Proprietary Academic Standards

Kudos to Chuck Harris and Joyce Valenza (and partial credit to Doug Johnson) for raising the issue of copyright and licensing of academic standards, in this case, the AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

Look, proprietary standards are bad for education, educators, and kids. They slow the adoption of standards, encourage the propagation of overlapping, redundant, competing sets of standards (e.g., ISTE, AASL, P21 wtf is the difference?), lead to the proliferation of second rate knock-offs, inhibit the integration of standards into software tools and linked data, block efforts to rationalize the mess of standards schools confront, drive administrators to change standards for no educational reason, etc.

The core standards, maybe just a text file, should get a permissive Creative Commons license. However you license the rest of the supplementary materials is less of a problem (i.e., regular copyright is less harmful). If your organization can't afford to create freely licensed standards, do the rest of the universe a favor and just skip it entirely. If someone presents you with a set of proprietary standards, badger them about the licensing and laugh in their face. It is ridiculous notion and never should have been accepted in civilized society in the first place.

No comments: