To the Editor:
It is convenient for Commentary author Linda Diamond to ask educators concerned about the Common Core State Standards to shift their efforts to “the more difficult challenge—implementation” (“The Cure for Common-Core Syndrome,” Aug. 28, 2013). After all, doing so absolves the power that educators hold to scrutinize the effects the new policy will have on teaching and learning.
Those who continue to challenge untested and thoroughly contentious (politically motivated) reforms like the common-core standards and the subsequent testing regime might agree completely with Ms. Diamond’s point that: “As a nation, we do not have a history of thoroughly implementing or sustaining education reforms, which is troubling.”
We might add that it is troubling precisely because so often reformers move so quickly into implementation. It is far easier to marginalize those who bring legitimate concerns against the effects of top-down, management-heavy approaches.
Pretending the debate is over does not mean it is. That attitude prevents those who do implement reforms—teachers, students, families—from participating in the creation of a sustainable, rigorous, and inspiring system of education.
Neil J. Liss
Visiting Assistant Professor of Education
A version of this article appeared in the September 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as Essay on Common Core Seeks to Cut Off Dissent