Standards and Teaching Effectiveness

As you probably know, new educational standards are in the works again. While such changes are usually greeted with accolades by the educational and parent community, the new “Common Core,” which lay out what students should know from kindergarten through 12th grade, has caused much concern.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article called Learning Goals Spur Backlash, these standards, “which were written by a group of governors, state officials and other experts,” find not all states to be on board. Here are some of the notable problems:

  • Being an intrusion into local education decisions
  • Having children not prepared yet for the corresponding Common Core exams
  • Adding more “Informational” text to classrooms which crowds out literature
  • Causing good students to “freeze or break into tears” because they have not been fully prepared to take the new kind of tests
  • Having some parts of the math be weaker than what was required before

Down to Basics

Ever since my mother has been in the field of teaching, the state of education seems to have been in the same boat about student abilities to meet educational standards… getting worse. She was always telling me at the time about how her students were just not “meeting the standards” anymore. When I went to school, she told me all of us were not “meeting the standards” in an even more. When my kids went to school, the problem of meeting standards got even worse. In each generation, educators grappled with what to do. While finding ways to help students meet the standards sounded logical, educators always went ahead and defied logic. Across the board they all came up with the exact same solution–raise the standards.

As a teacher myself, at all levels, including teacher education on the college level, my focus has always been on improvements for teaching. Made sense to me. My thought, odd as it may seem today, was to try to keep getting students better at “meeting the standards,” even surpassing them. Creating “new” and more difficult ones to meet never occurred to me as a solution.

In our “fast-paced” world of today, “back-to-basics” always seems to get lost. However, “Reading Writing, and Arithmetic” will always be here to stay, and we need to stay focused on them.

Now here is some “back-to-basics” for teaching. By coincidence, it just happens to be… as simple as ABC.

A – Always connect with your student.

B – Be kind, clear, and responsive.

C – Capture every moment you can to teach, teach, teach.

June! Month of the Dads

Continue to do “Father Appreciation” projects all month long. One card or present on one day is not enough. Turn every day into an opportunity to show your love for your dad in some special way.

Send in your teaching question now to, and Dr. Sally will answer it as soon as possible on Tuesday Afternoon Tea. If you would like to ask your question anonymously, please indicate that on your question.

Subscribe to Tips


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *