Executive Director Corner: Finding Common Ground in the Common Core

posted Nov 24, 2015, 11:26 AM by Robin Dutton-Cookston
Leaning into our vulnerability as parents and guardians isn’t always the easiest to do, but being active listeners and authentically curious in how we approach our children’s education can often lead to clearer understandings of what success can look like. PPS-SF, a big tent organization, is a space where families are welcome to come as they are. We seek to create space for adults to share multiple points of view on public education whether those views are divergent or alike.

In the moments when disagreements arise, especially regarding school-site implementation of the Common Core, we receive a universal invitation to analyze the multiple perspectives being offered. Sometimes we find agreement on the other end of the perspective. Sometimes we don’t. In cases when the latter -- disagreement -- becomes the reality, it is important to remember that the act of disagreeing is essential to identify problems, provide contrary perspectives, consider alternatives, and make changes. What we need to recognize is that there is a skill and art in offering a disagreement that plays an important part in ultimately finding solutions. It is not what is said, but how it is said. 

There is no shortage of energy being poured into advocating for our children, and it's our kids' collective well being that must remain at the center of our dialogue. At the end of the day, we are our children's best teachers. We have an opportunity to walk the talk of what we aspire for our children to become: mindful, solution-oriented, and empathic human beings.


Masharika Prejean MaddisonExecutive Director, Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco