Why don’t we poll the teachers?

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We are racing into Common Core Standards, just as we raced into the Danielson Framework, and No Child Left Behind.

Why don’t we ask working teachers if they believe these schemes will benefit students? We have the technology necessary to conduct the polls needed to find out what educators think. We ought to use that technology.

When this issue arises, many times politicians and pundits will say that some of the creators of the latest new educational policy are former educators. How many? What percentage? Relatively few teachers have been involved in some of our most sweeping legislation.

From http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/11/florida_teacher_i_was_among_th.html:

Florida Teacher: “I Was Among Those Who Reviewed the Common Core in 2009”
By Anthony Cody on November 6, 2013 11:43 AM

One of the sticky issues regarding the Common Core remains the secretive way the standards were first written, and the almost total absence of classroom educators from that process — which I first pointed out in 2009. To this concern we have been repeatedly told that teachers were involved in a review process that followed this initial “confidential” process to write the first draft. The Common Core website features a document entitled “Myths v. Facts About the Common Core Core Standards.” b

The document states:

Myth: No teachers were involved in writing the Standards.

Fact: The common core state standards drafting process relied on teachers and standards experts from across the country. In addition, there were many state experts that came together to create the most thoughtful and transparent process of standard setting. This was only made possible by many states working together. For more information, please visit: www.corestandards.org

As I reported in 2009, the two “Working Groups” that actually wrote the first drafts of the standards do NOT include a single classroom teacher. You can see for yourself on this list provided by the National Governors Association. The two “Feedback Groups” include only one classroom teacher.

Eduhonesty: Supposedly, educators were interviewed about Common Core after the fact, but there’s little sign that their input affected the final product.

Who are the experts in education? In my view, they are the classroom teachers who try to make all these legislative plans work, day in and day out. Why don’t we make more use of this pool of expert knowledge? Why did the Common Core ignore this resource?

I can guess at the answer. Because scores are low in some cases, teachers are blamed for not having created the higher scores that politicians desire. But what if the major factors leading to those low scores have little to do with actual instruction? What if poverty and parental educational deficits, just as examples, factor much more critically in our educational disparities and failures?

Education is the only field I can think of where the experts on the front-line are virtually ignored by the planners creating policy for the field.