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What I Wish People Understood about My Job

Charleston Gazette-Mail

One of the most important reasons teachers support high standards and high-quality assessments is the flexibility the standards provide in their classrooms. Rachel Campbell is a fourth grade teacher in Charleston, West Virginia. As Campbell wrote to the Charleston Gazette-Mail this week, there are quite a few misconceptions about her job as a teacher and West Virginia’s College and Career Readiness Standards. “Standards are the goals which we strive for our students to meet; assessments are how we ensure the students are meeting those goals,” she wrote. Campbell also re-iterated that Common Core State Standards don’t dictate what lessons she must use, “They do not determine which textbooks I use, or even what strategies I teach. This set of standards simply acts as a guideline that states what the end result of mathematical education in the 4th grade year should be.” As West Virginia lawmakers consider even more changes to their standards, Campbell wants them to know their efforts are in vain. “The bottom line is, the current College and Career Readiness Standards are working. My job is to equip my students with as many strategies and tools for learning as possible, in hopes that they will find one that works for them. The system of State Standards that we currently have allows this. When teachers are allowed to hone, and practice their craft, true learning takes place.” We couldn’t agree more, Rachel!

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