When I asked Google to define political, here’s what I saw:
I’ve not thought of myself as political before, but apparently, when politicians start making decisions that affect what I’ve given my life to do every day, I will take the time to write a political letter. So here it is – a letter motivated by my beliefs – that will be delivered to the representative and senator for whom I vote – when Mississippi First hosts their Capitol Day today.
I want to thank you for your continued support of education as shown by your votes – for students, teachers, and parents. I hope that you will vote to keep our current Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards.
I have been teaching high school mathematics for 22 years. My students have always done well on their ACT, SAT, PSAT, and AP Calculus exams. Even so, our new state standards have made a positive impact on the conversations that we have in our classroom as students productively struggle to make sense of mathematics. Our new state standards have made a positive impact on the conversations that I have with other educators across the state as we take a serious look at not only what we have been teaching but also how we have been teaching it.
Our new state standards demand that we graduate students who are proficient at constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others. Our new state standards demand that we graduate students who are proficient at making sense of problems and persevering in solving them. Just last week, a student in one of my classes looked up at the Standards for Mathematical Practice posted on the wall in the front of the classroom and remarked, “Those are good practices for life … for any type of learning.”
Our new state standards have connected me to educators all over the country implementing similar standards. I learn alongside educators not only in Mississippi but also in Washington, Florida, Arizona, and Maryland. We share what works through blogs and tweets. We share what doesn’t work through blogs and tweets. And then we all take back what we learn to our own students and tailor a lesson to fit our learners where they are.
Our new state standards have provided me an opportunity to learn more mathematics than I knew before we had them (and I have an M.S. in mathematics). They demand that we think about multiple ways to solve problems, and so I am constantly learning from my students through their thinking.
I hope that you will give us the opportunity to continue using our new state standards. Give us a chance to show that our students can graduate from high school college- and career-ready.