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We all have a stake in the Common Core

Jeffrey Rabey, a local school superintendent, wrote in The News about a plan “establishing an ongoing process for engaging key stakeholders in reviewing and refining implementation of the Common Core” and “investing responsibly in professional development to implement the Common Core.”

It is important to emphasize that all citizens are “stakeholders,” not only the administrators, teachers, parents and pupils. Effective education imparts knowledge, skills, understanding of our history and lessons in civics about how our country works in order for future generations to live and participate as good and productive citizens. Too often the word “stakeholder” is used to disenfranchise those who are not enrolled in, or being paid by, the school systems.

Standards and achievement levels are required by the entire society to function well, making all of us “stakeholders” in education.

A teacher once explained to us why he would not evaluate our work on a “curve.” “There is a curriculum I must follow and effectively teach. If I am successful, you will all earn good grades. If I am not, the grades will not be so good.” That teacher was concerned with results and passionate about the process.

“Investing responsibly in professional development,” as Rabey wrote, should also include the ability of the system to reinvigorate itself with new, passionate and effective teachers to replace those who are not passionate or effective. Unfortunately, the “traditional stakeholders” built a system making such changes extremely difficult. We all have a stake in the outcomes.

David Schiller

Williamsville