Lockett Learning Systems

Lockett Learning Systems

Friday, July 10, 2015

The "Uncommon Core" Success or Failure?

As a beginning teacher, I was always reading the textbook and thinking, "No wonder the kids don't understand this!"  I would re-write the instructions and pass out a handout that explained what the textbook had muddled.

I didn't know then that I was a writer.  I just knew that I could do a better job of explaining the "how-to" of my lesson than the textbook authors had done.

It is rare that I read an article and think, "Well done!  I couldn't have said it better."

Enter the exception:  From Edutopia, Andrew Miller's article entitled "4 Lessons Learned from Common Core Implementation."

You'll want to read the entire thing.  Here is the link: 

Let me quote from his final paragraph and shout Kudos!  Yes!  Amen!  Wow!  You name it...however you shout about something that grabs you, here it is:
"All teachers should know how professional development relates directly to their practice. 
All teachers should be given practical tools for implementation. 
All teachers should receive ongoing, embedded professional development. 
They should be leveraged for their expertise and leadership. 
We should focus on assessment and move away from our focus on standardized testing."
Andrew Miller
Educational Consultant and Online Educator

From my years in staff development and endeavoring to bring about success to all students, I quickly realized that top-down staff development doesn't work...nor does teacher-driven change.  Change must be a collaborative.  

I asked a principal who had managed to fully and successfully implement SCORE in less than 6 weeks how he had achieved it so quickly.  He said, "I was the new kid on the block, and I knew the teachers would shoot down what I brought to them.  

'The entire first year, I used my staff development monies to send teachers to observe what other schools were doing.  When they came back, they said, 'Why aren't we doing that?!'  I responded, 'we could do that.  I'll look into how to bring it to our campus.'  

'By year two, they were ready and had hand-selected what they wanted to do.  Interesting...it was what I wanted to do, too."

Kudos again! Thank you, educators and students, for keeping my learning curve alive and growing.

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