I had dinner last night with a good friend who is working on implementing the Common Core in her district.  She came into the restaurant after work stressed and agitated. It seems that her district is plunging head long into implementation by writing Common Core units and piloting them in classrooms while trying to figure out what daily instruction might look like.  It seems that everyone is looking towards the formidable year of 2015, when we take the first Smarter Balanced Assessment, with trepidation.  We have been so shell shocked by NCLB, AYP, API, and every other letter in the alphabet that has to do with accountability that we can no longer enjoy teaching children.  The reason I went into teaching was to be the best educator I could and to make a difference in the lives of children. When did we move away from that into a world absolutely ruled by assessment?  It is not good for students and it is not healthy for us. 

Don't get me wrong, I do believe that the CC is the right way to go and the reform that we need to  prepare students for the world they will be living in, but it needs to be embraced and approached with a level head. 

I would just like to tell educators to take a deep breath and calm down.  Let's approach this bit by bit.  It is like an elephant and the only way to eat it is one bite at a time.  We need to take the time to truly understand what we are asked to do with the new standards.  They are deep and dense and rigorous and require a great deal of understanding.  We need time to come together as educators to discuss and process this with each other. To take a piece of a line from Steven Covey, "Seek first to understand."

The Common Core can change education for the better, but only if we go about implementing it in the right way.

9/2/2013 03:13:27 am

Suzanne, I couldn't agree with you more -- well put in every way! Only a bit-by-bit, non-freaked out approach makes sense. Each day I hear from teachers who are in districts like your friends, and it is just a shame. If there were a way to calculate how much high-anxiety implementation strategies contribute to teacher turnover in the next few years... well, we probably wouldn't want to know!

Keep up the good fight, Suzanne!

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