A well known advisor to educators and business leaders believes that it is important to listen to teachers when developing standards.

Michael Cohen, president of Achieve Inc., a Washington, D.C., education reform nonprofit,recently met with North Carolina leaders in educsation and told them to listen to what teachers tell them about what works best.  As North Carolina begins to review and possibly revise its Common Core standards, he feels it is critical that teachers are  able to contribute their valuable perspectives.

Listen to Teachers When Developing Standards

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Cohen’s nonpartisan organization helped develop the Common Core Standards, and he delivered his remarks during the North Carolina Conference on Education, attended by hundreds of educators and business leaders.  Up for discussion was the future of education, higher standards, and apprenticeship success stories.

“First of all, listen to the teachers who have been teaching with standards you’ve adopted and ask them what’s working and what’s not,” Cohen said. “They’re the one’s who are going to be able to give you the best information.”

Cohen also said students who have already graduated high school should also be asked to share what works.

“Ask them if they’ve got the skills they need or don’t and what’s missing from that,” Cohen said.

He said post-secondary educators should also be a good source of information for those called on to review state standards.

Listen to Teachers When Developing Standards

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“Pay particular attention to those who are teaching in the technical training programs in two-year institutions, not just the four-year colleges, but the technical training programs and find out what they need and the different kind of skills they need depending on the kinds of career or occupational area,” Cohen said.

Addressing business leaders attending the conference presented by Biogen Idec, Cohen said they should listen to “themselves,” the ones who will be doing the hiring. “What is it that you need,” Cohen said, adding that parents are a good source as well.

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