Is a given lesson worth teaching? I may not always be sure of the answer, but I'm pretty sure that's the question we should be asking, rather than employing discipline, or demanding self-discipline, or pulling stuff off the walls in hopes that students will devote their attention to something whose value is simply taken for granted.
Voices across the country are raising concerns about the new Common Core State Standards. But if you listen carefully to the conversations, the main concern is not about the standards, themselves, but about the consequences of high-stakes tests attached to the standards. And those concerns are well-placed.