Something Lynette Nelson said regarding Common Core Standards (“Common Core is a step ....” July 21, AFN) is exactly right on target, and it’s missed by too many teachers, administrators, schools and school districts.

“Common Core is not ... a curriculum; it is a set of standards.”

Standards of learning are set up by authority or by consensus as rules for measuring learning achievements or as models of desired learning outcomes.

A curriculum is all the “stuff” a teacher uses to help students learn, and all a teacher “does” and has the students do.

“Standards” is the “what (are we going to learn);” “curriculum” is the “how (are we going to learn it).”

Standards we got; curriculum, not. The lack of proffered curriculum is the elephant in the room.

Teachers tend to teach the way they were taught. Now we expect them to teach a way they have never experienced. Do we answer, “Sink or swim?” “Figure it out yourself?” Or do we provide opportunities for them to see and experience the curriculum, and thereby, better understand how they can help their students learn?

Teachers need those opportunities and they need them now. Administrators? Districts? Boards? State legislators? Which of you are going to make this happen?

True: throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix it. Changing what one does MAY fix it. Changing what one does WILL take money.

Call your school; school district; school board; state legislators. Ask them what they’ve done for your school lately. Call a friend; ask them to call as well.

Phil Wagoner

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