Sunday, September 27, 2009

Comparing USA (proposed) and England's Reading Standards

The proposed US core English standards and England's Stage 4 English Programme of Study are structured similarly, which makes comparing them easy. Let's run through what shows up in England's reading standards but not in the US:

c recognise subtlety, ambiguity and allusion within sentences and across texts as a whole

e select, compare, summarise and synthesise information from different texts and use it to form their own ideas, arguments and opinions

g relate texts to their social and historical contexts and to the literary traditions of which they are a part

h recognise and evaluate the ways in which texts may be interpreted differently according to the perspective of the reader

i analyse and evaluate the impact of combining words, images and sounds in media, moving-image and multimodal texts.

l analyse and evaluate how form, layout and presentation contribute to effect

n compare and analyse the connections between texts from different cultures and traditions.

That's half of England's 14 reading standards, and is being generous, considering that what I'm counting as equivalent American standards are often narrower and less sophisticated in their US versions.

Conversely, by my count eight of the 18 US standards are either covered by England's reading "competence" standard or "a analyse and evaluate information, events and ideas from texts."

Looking at the most straightforward international benchmark, the proposed US standards are markedly lower.

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