After listening to two former commissioners of education Dr. Eric Smith of Florida and Dr. David Driscoll hired by Massachusetts after the “Grand Bargain,” I think we all —including these two leaders— need to step back a moment and listen to ourselves.
Since these two had the stage, let’s listen to them first.
The talk — The purpose of our public system is to provide opportunities to all kids. The walk — standards and measuring make the difference.
The talk — Libraries and librarians have proven their worth. The walk — standards and measuring make the difference; be data driven.
The talk — Good parenting and providing students with essential services when needed is a good thing. The walk — standards and measuring make the difference and we need to tone down the political rhetoric.
The talk — Time on task is important and we should understand how we are using our teaching time. The walk — standards and measuring make the difference; we will know how Common Core works in a couple of years.
The talk — Research is important. The walk — those that adopted Common Core should have read them before doing so. There should have been a process.
The talk — We need to get away from teaching to the test. The walk — STAY the course with Common Core and Smarter Balance testing.
Oh, one more…..The talk — Massachusetts is doing great on international tests. The walk — well, that’s the problem. How many students walked away never to be subjected to being measured again?
For me, the question left unanswered from listening to these two was; if Massachusetts is being held up as the gold standard of reform efforts and they “improved” their schools using tests only in 4th, 8th, and 10th grades, why are we still recommending standardize, high-stakes testing in every grade every year?
More to consider tomorrow…and yes, I do remind myself with notes that I too need to hear myself.