Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance, in reference to the new Common Core curriculum that is being implemented this year, said, "We are building the plane as we fly it" ("Teachers complain about access to new curriculum," Sept. 23).
When I taught mathematics in the school system, the curriculum planes were designed to deliver content that was best for students. We tested the planes (curricula) in the classroom and trained the pilots (teachers) before the planes were put in service. Subsequently, pilots were provided with daily flight plans (lesson materials) which were prepared and provided before the planes left the ground. With each flight, the passengers (students) were delivered to their destination (content was mastered) on time.
The idea of building the plane as we flew it was regarded as insanity, as we knew the plane would probably crash on take off. But then again, we built our planes out of metal and used jets for propulsion instead of balsa wood and rubber bands. Our planes weren't blown off course by hot air currents (the federal government) and our passengers got to their destinations.
If I were a passenger on the superintendent's plane that was being built in flight, I'd look for a parachute and bail out. On second thought, I'd never get on that plane in the first place.
Craig Laferty, TimoniumCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun