First, a disclaimer. I have spent the last 10 years in the private school sector. So, my exposure to many public schools trends is limited, and my relationship to the alphabet soup of assessment (e.g. NCLB, AYP, HSA, MSA) is practically nil. In fact, a major part of the original appeal of the private sector was that there was no government watchdog telling me what to do in my classroom!
That being said, as I move deeper into administration, I am learning that accountability does matter. Teachers need professional development like any other area of the labor force, and appropriate PD requires benchmarks and a report of progress. The rub is who develops the measurement tools and how are they applied.
I will admit to being intrigued by the Common Core movement spreading across the public school system. Finding myself as I do leading my school’s revision of the college-prep curriculum, I have discovered that my efforts to “move the ball” at my school are nearly identical to my public school counterparts.
So how does one go about co-opting the best of the Common Core and adapting it to a private school model? This seems to me to the question of the moment, and I definitely need to get my hands on some more research.