When did education become so politicized? Perhaps during the advent of compulsory public education or during the Space Race or amid the current reality that high school graduation isn’t enough.
How do we advocate for students in a partisan environment? We can agree that we want productive citizens. We may disagree on specifics, but we can find ground for compromise in some common American values.
Our Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution in a deliberately open fashion — open to interpretation, criticism and even amendment. This brought disparate philosophies together on basic ideals that allowed progress. They knew the alternative, losing the chance to form that “more perfect union,” was unthinkable.
We are at a crossroads today. We are at that ugly stage of housecleaning where things get messier before they get organized. We now have to choose the sacrifices to make in order to progress. We must discard the idea that there is a right way to teach that can be written out or legislated like some modern-day Hammurabi’s Code.
Instead, we need an elegant, flexible document like our revered Constitution that can guide us to a world where our children become productive citizens. Luckily, we have that document already. It is the Common Core, a set of carefully crafted standards that are written to emphasize our strengths and ideals while leaving room for interpretation.
Forgo the political banter and research the Common Core — its beginnings in a bipartisan gubernatorial recognition of the danger of slipping behind in the global economy to its development over many years of fine-tuning in the trenches. Learn how it improves critical thinking, literacy and understanding in our students whose teachers have implemented it with fidelity. Visit a classroom and emerge with an understanding [of] our students’ capacity when they are truly career- and college-ready.
— LeAnna Earls Delph
Sixth-grade social studies/language arts teacher
Eblen Intermediate School