In any endeavor there comes a moment of challenge. A reality-check point in time, where one can see the future road is not as rosy as it appears… This happens often in corporate America. The chief executive looks over his financials after launching a major investment into a new product and sees the writing on the wall…. Every executive is heavily invested in its outcome, He should be. To the shareholders, the employees, the media, he has projected confidence that his investment will create the turnaround he envisions….
Then he gets the spread sheets.. Customers are not buying his line.
What does he do? He has the choice we all face at some point in our lives, whether professional, personal, or moral.. Which of his two options does he take? Does he double down and push harder through the wall of circumstance to eventually break out on the other side? Or does he accept the data being given and pull the operation’s plug….
Common Core is the “New Coke“… That oft studied debacle of the 80’s where an iconic soft drink beverage formula was inexplicably changed… Was it better or worse? The public said worse and flew to the competitor.
Sometimes one has to listen to the public….
SB 51 was the Markell’s DOE’s piñata dangled from the high ceilings of Legislative Hall… Play with it and goodies would fall out across all your districts…. But there is a old-salt rule of thumb worth remembering…. “Never strike a piñata that has hornets coming out of it.”
Now is that time for the executives to pivot.
Simply say without blame or apology: we are making some modifications.
Here is what they need to be.
1) Tests will not be the overwhelming decider of a teacher’s evaluation, a school’s worth, or a district’s funding. however they will be maintained as an advisory tool only, to quantitate, illustrate, and track what works and what does not.
2) Before approval, the DCAS tests must be taken and the results published by the both the governor, head of the DOE, and all members of both the House and Senate Educational Committees. If there are issues, we will then know. This is so we have hands-on knowledge at the top of the organization, of exactly what we are getting into.
3) Start pivoting policy to achieving an 11 to 1 student teacher ratio. Evidence shows that makes more difference than anything.
These three realizations may be enough to keep the good parts of Common Core from being thrown out in the coming backlash… Because there are some very good elements to Common Core that, were they implemented in better fashion, could have made a big difference in the outcome….
The biggest problem, I cannot stress more, is the accountability piece tied to an arbitrary test. A test that mysteriously appears and on which all depends. The more we learn about the details involved inside the making of this test and its grading, and the more we learn about the details inside each corporate packet handed to each student for which we pay billions nationwide, the worse the building-block pieces of this program appear to be…
A good executive knows, if he is wedded to a bad program, he goes down with the program. As is, this program is going down… It’s time Jack, to get rid of that golden ticket that you thought let you board the Titanic on its maiden voyage….