As educators, legislators, and nebulous other entities battle over the new Oklahoma Academic Standards this weekend, one thing has become clear. We can fling words back and forth till we’re all blue in the face, but the standards themselves won’t change. They are simply guidelines created by a committee for teachers to follow as they craft their lessons, which become the curriculum for their classes.
Retired educator Claudia Swisher says that teachers are what makes those standards come to life.
Teachers can make anything work. Anything. We’ve been taking well-intentioned mandates and reforms — sows’ ears — and we’ve been making amazing silk purses. That’s what we do. We take the mess and make it work. When we are given time.