I’ve been talking about teaching national standards and whether we’re heading down a slippery slope or whether we’re amidst the great hope of the future of education.

Here’s where I am the whole Common Core/national standards discussion…

  • National standards are leveling the playing field for ALL kids, which means we can’t play the “data dance” and shift kids around and use different standards from different districts/states as the reason why they haven’t excelled.
  • Implementing national standards means that we’ll be able to measure our teaching against those of our peers – – and I believe it’s about time that we do this so that we can raise the overall quality of our teaching.  We can’t raise the overall level unless we have a baseline – the standards will help us determine this baseline.
  • Those who feel as though “they’re always told what to do” will feel like they’re being told what to do by having to implement the common core national standards.  For those reflective, interested-in-refinement educators, the national standards will give them the push to adjust, alter, reflect, refine and teach like their hair’s on fire!
  • The Common Core Standards will support leadership in getting very clear on what they should be seeing in the classroom.  Having common expectations not only with “what” is taught, but  “how” it is delivered will mean that teacher observations, evaluations and walk-throughs by principals will be based on more than what the leader “likes” or “thinks is good practice”.
  • We will FINALLY have a detailed outline of what we consider “best practices” – in fact, I’m sick of folks using that term as a catch-all phrase to cover for every type of best practice/non-best-practice around! Whew!

The best part is, the Common Core will help move us from “what SHOULD a 5th grader really know????” to “Let’s get STARTED!”

So to answer the question: Is teaching national standards dangerous?  I don’t think so.  Certainly not any more dangerous than what we have been engaging in!

What do YOU think?  Leave a comment below now!