Dr. Lane, do you support or oppose common core standards?
I do not feel that the common core standards are necessary in Virginia at this time. Our strategic plan in GCPS calls for personalized learning for our students. In my opinion, any movement to standardize curriculum as broadly as national standards (especially national assessments such as those aligned to the common core) takes away from our flexibility to meet each child’s individual needs. Most decisions about students are best made in the classroom by teachers.
I believe our Virginia standards strike a better balance between making personalized decisions in the classroom and allowing us to still monitor the achievement of our students. With the work being done in the SOL Innovation Committee, I hope we can build an even more authentic assessment system focused on growth, and I don’t believe the common core is a part of any recommendations I have seen for innovating the SOL’s.
Generally, I believe that superintendents should remain apolitical on topics where the debate is merely political, i.e. there is not actual movement to adopt the strategy/policy/law/standards. I have never heard our current or former Governor mention any interest in adopting the common core standards and I’ve never heard of any member of the General Assembly propose serious legislation to move towards adoption. That being said, should legislation come forward moving us toward the common core standards, I would work with the local school board to produce a position statement and would defend Goochland’s stance on common core. Again, due to the fact that it is not actually being considered, we have felt no need to address the issue.