I have watched and listened very carefully to the debate on the Common Core Standards among many people I respect and know to be knowledgeable on the subject. Of course, this debate comes after 45 states have adopted these standards, after hundred of hours of professional development by teachers and administrators, and after millions of dollars spent on implementation. Still this debate might be helpful if it leads to compromise and not polarization. When those on both sides of an argument make good points, it's time to look for middle ground. As a person who was involved in the early stages of the discussion of whether we should have common core standards, I would like to make some observations and suggestions.
First, let's go back to the reason that this course of action was launched. In some states, there were so many standards that it was impossible for any teacher to assure that her students learned all of them. In other states, there were so few standards that teachers had to question whether the students were receiving the education they deserved. This mixed bag of standards was putting our country at a disadvantage in the global community. The Council of Chief State School Officers(CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) stepped up to represent the voice of states in addressing this concern. This was their initiative. They owned it.