There isn’t a Common Core supporter in the nation who hasn’t qualified her enthusiasm for what the standards can do with “if they are implemented properly.” On the other hand, I’m not sure there’s a Common Core opponent who isn’t standing in the wings, waiting for implementation to fail.
This is often the point in a new initiative when supporters feel most vulnerable and start scrambling to figure out how to avoid high profile failures. But, if we’ve going to succeed in this venture, we shouldn’t be trying to avoid failure, we should be looking to shine a spotlight on it and embrace it as a key element of change. It’s only by allowing the chance for failure that standards can have any real meaning…
…As we look towards Common Core implementation, and even as we see sharks in the water circling and waiting for us to fail, we need to focus our efforts on setting a high bar for successful implementation, highlighting both what is working and what is not, and then vigorously pursuing a policy of scaling up what works and shutting down what doesn’t. Having the confidence to embrace the necessity of these failures is what will allow us to succeed.
Embrace failure… now I know that we learn from failure and that it can be a good thing – ask Thomas Edison, but I have to believe that any said failure will be blamed on the implementation and not on the standards themselves.