Originally posted by Robert Messia on November 8, 2016 on TimesUnion
“The times, they are a changin’,” as Bob Dylan, now Nobel laureate, once famously wrote. And so it is today with English Language Art and math standards in New York state.
With the changes proposed by New York, developed in collaboration with teachers and parents, our state has the opportunity to correct missteps of the past and support the 21st-century needs of students.
The state Department of Education, under Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, is working hard to learn from the mistakes of Common Core implementation. One of the most significant of these stumbles was the lack of uniform, high-quality, state-provided professional development for teachers in ELA and math.
Her proposals include budget initiatives that focus on providing resources to support teachers and schools in developing curriculum and programs to help students achieve these standards.
New York now has an opportunity to learn from the past and invest in our future by providing requisite professional development funding.
Without community support, we risk creating the same problems Commissioner Elia is working to address, and our students suffer the consequences of a system not ready to support their needs.
Just as the commissioner has engaged so many in the process of revising these standards, we must now engage our legislators to understand the needs teachers will have to learn more about these standards and how to implement them.
Teachers, parents and administrators need to let our legislators and Board of Regents know how incredibly important professional development is to implementation.
The times are a changin’, and let’s make sure it is for the better.
Robert Messia is principal of Algonquin Middle School in Averill Park, NY and a New York Educator Voice Fellow with America Achieves.