Our first sessions of the morning kicked off with a discussion entitled “It’s time to give up on ___ and replace it with ___.” This discussion featured short talks from speakers including Neerav Kingsland of New Schools for New Orleans, Kaya Henderson of D.C. Public Schools, along with several other education leaders.
Ted Kolderie of Education Evolving spoke about the need to re-evaluate how we see young people and their abilities for achievement. “When given opportunities, when challenged, young people do great things.”
Kaya Henderson told the crowd, “It’s time to stop calling ourselves a movement – and start acting like one.” Henderson stressed the need for collaboration across the education space, and for the sharing of best practices to solve problems. “It’s time to recognize… our collective action can move mountains.”
Meanwhile, a discussion moderated by John King, of the New York State Education Department, discussed the Common Core State Standards Initiative and what it means for educators.
Ashley Hebda, a 9th grade teacher, told the audience, “The standards only open opportunities… Teachers need to have time to understand how their instruction changes.” She noted that the Common Core brings a shift away from teach-led thinking towards student-lead thinking and an enjoyment of learning.
David Coleman of the College Board added, “The standards only open opportunities… We have to change the culture of how we use staff” to ensure professional development in order to prepare for the Common Core.
Brian Pick, of D.C. Public Schools, noted that “We need… a delivery system that matches up with the teachers who needs it.” He also said that the Common Core is largely about being able to witness “the building of students’ ability all the way down to Kindergarten… [for students] to see themselves as learners… with the traits for what it for success in college and career.”
King concluded that with the Common Core standards, students are “learning what it means to be true learners.”