The Common Core State Standards aren't an enemy. They're a smart way of saying to the public, "This is where education is going. This is what your child needs to know and be able to do as a future worker, citizen, and leader." To that end, the Common Core standards are helping to advance what we already know to be solid, holistic learning for our schools. This includes providing teachers the breathing room to get creative about focusing on integrity at every turn.
Our seventh annual Ethical Literacy Conference was smaller than usual, yet we came away from it with bigger ideas and a stronger sense of success than in past conferences. Our ability to maintain flexibility and respond to educators' needs was key to this opportunity and underscored the importance of balancing "structure" with "free flow" in the learning process.
Teachers should be evaluated on the atmosphere they create in their classrooms and the degree of trust they have established with their students. Several findings from the Schools of Integrity and other research literature support examining both classroom culture and teacher-student relationships.