I love it when someone as articulate as The Jose Vilson says what I’m thinking, especially on a topic as important as this one.

There has been both too much shrill noise around the Common Core (“The tests are coming! The tests are coming!) and too little transparency or inclusion of key stakeholders–starting with teachers, parents, and students in their development.

The rush by PARCC and SBAC to develop assessments before we have curriculum and instruction in place only increases teacher skepticism and cynicism about the Common Core State Standards. This short-circuits some of the most crucial discussions we could be having about the quality of teaching and learning in our schools. Instead, many teachers look wistfully at the potential good in the standards with one eye, while watching with the other for the proverbial shoe.

Still, the implementation of these standards across the nation does open a unique opportunity for teachers. I am hoping that educators at all levels will take this opportunity to not only make a SHIFT in our ways of teaching, but also to assume our proper role at the lead of education reform and policy, not under its boots.

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