As far as I can see, there is little real discussion going on about the Common Core standards. Politicians and corporations who are selling the standards to the public and forcing it on teachers and schools ignore both supportive suggestions and opposition.
We believe that Randi Weingarten, with principled leadership, truly could be the transformational union leader that the country desperately needs. But her frustrating pattern of reversals should and will give pause to those looking to her as a partner.
Last week the Center for Union Facts (don't believe the name) sponsored a full-page ad in the Times attributing the "high school slip in global rankings" to a single issue: the failure of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten to promote merit pay for teachers.
The time is right for educators to reintroduce our old-fashioned, sensible, evidence-based approach to school improvement. "The Principles that Unite Us" presents a balanced game plan for communities and labor to unite for educational and social justice.
Some on the political right see the CCSS as federal intrusion. Some on the political left may see these new standards as infringements on teacher autonomy. But many are just fed up by the botched implementation and lack of resources.
We don't want to change evaluations so that the sky will fall on Missouri's teachers. We want to change evaluations to begin measuring and providing meaningful feedback to educators about the only thing that really matters, student academic growth.
As the pace of education "reform" heats up, what it means to be a teacher is being defined by everyone except teachers. In the wake of this, we need to remind ourselves of these two undeniable words: Teachers matter.
Every year, 1.2 million students drop out of high school. Of those who do graduate, one-third need remedial courses in college and far too few actually earn a degree. According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Federation of Teachers we can change this by working together.
We need sound policies regarding who should enter, live and work in the United States, and on how to carry out these policies. And those policies should reflect the opportunity, equality and other core American values that embody our country's great motto: "E pluribus unum" -- out of many, one.