How Can New Standards and Innovation Be Friends?

March 38, 2012 – In this collection of essaysEducation Sector asked commentators to address a set of dilemmas facing the nation in the current reform moment. Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel tackled one: Will the Common Core and new teacher evaluation systems strangle innovation? These reforms, they argue, would have been perfectly timed for 1962, with 50 years ahead of seat time-based grade levels and a one-teacher-one-classroom staffing model. But what about now, when the combination of new staffing models and digital learning has huge potential to transform everything? Will the Common Core and individual teacher evaluation hold us back exactly when we could be surging ahead? Not necessarily, the Hassels argue. But to sidestep that trap, states need to think of the new systems as iterations, not final destinations; leave space for innovation in new schools; and create much more powerful incentives for excellence. See essay #IV in the collection, here.