Even when removing our opinions and arguments while reading, a good persuasive writer can get into the minds of their readers without the reader realizing that they are interpreting the work by using stories and ideas by using rhetorical elements. While reading Agresto’s “Closing the door on innovation: Why one national curriculum is bad for America” try to take away your opinions and read the article with no bias. Throughout this essay I will examine Agresto’s use of evidence and rhetoric that persuaded his readers. By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of Agresto’s arguments and rhetoric used in this text. “Closing the Door on Innovation,” argues that current U.S. Department of Education efforts to nationalize curriculum will stifle innovation and freeze into place an unacceptable status quo, end local and state control of schooling, and impose a one-size-fits-all model on America’s students. Agresto uses a normative argument to prove this point that a nationwide curriculum is not what is best for our educational system. The normative warrant is both moral and political because it agrees that our expectations should be high and similar for all children, also while agreeing that curricula should be designed before assessments are developed. I believe that the normative warrant is that not every kid learns the same way so this one size fits all; centrally controlled curriculum makes no sense for this country.
Through this article there are 5 main arguments that Agresto uses to prove why it would be better to have many regional curricula than one centralized. These arguments discredit the US Department of Education and the proposal they have about a nationwide curriculum by finding research and statistics that suggest it would be he down fall of our education system in America. The first of these arguments that Agresto explains is that these efforts are against federal law and undermine the constitutional balance between national and state authority, by stating, “The U.S. Constitution seeks a healthy balance of power between states and the federal government, and wisely leaves the question of academic standards, curriculum, and instruction up to the states”. (Agresto, 2011) This shows that what the government is doing is illegal making the reader believe and side with Agresto. The second argument that Agresto uses to make his case is the evidence doesn’t show a need for national curriculum or a national test for all students. In “Closing the Door on Innovation,” it is said that, “the only possible way to achieve high academic achievement is through a single national curriculum. Yet France and Denmark have centralized national curricula and do not show high average achievement on international tests or a diminishing gap between high- and low-achieving students. Meanwhile, Canada and Australia, both of which have many regional curricula, achieve better results than many affluent single-curriculum nations.” (Agresto, 2011) The U.S. Department of Education is basing its initiative on inadequate content standards Agresto says, “reviews have found its standards to be below those in the highest-performing countries and below those in states rated as having the best academic standards”. (Agresto, 2011) The fourth argument that is brought forth is there is no research-based consensus on what is the best curricular approach to each subject, which the reader will be brought to think about when Agresto says, “Much more innovation and development,