2012-05-18

About the bloggers…

First, a pledge:
We, the bloggers, hereby affirm that we have a particular interest in improving K-12 mathematics education and will do what little we can to advance that worthy cause in the confines of this blog.
Since it is impossible to expound on all that is right and wrong with Common Core in one fell swoop, we can only address issues piecemeal, at the risk of occasionally sounding incoherent, or even worse, looking like bloviating ignorami.  We know that we may contradict ourselves at times.  Writing a blog is difficult; kudos to you bloggers out there.

We should interpose that we are not salaried educators, we are not political ideologues, we have no personal vendettas, we are not self-absorbed egoists, we have no children in school, and we have no pecuniary interest in the future success or failure of various educational reform efforts.  We are disinterested parties, and we are not selling any product or service.  We own no stock in any education-related publicly traded company.  (Did we overlook anything?)

Because we are unbeholden and free of conflicts of interest, we are able to speak truth to power.

[It is remotely possible that someone will want to hire us in some capacity to spiel on their (more heavily trafficked) website, so some of the previous statements may have to be superseded.  In the unlikely event that happens, we'll be sure to let readers know.  We believe in full disclosure about any financial or other potential biases.]

We have what we consider to be sufficient credentials to comment on the matter (and we'll let readers judge that statement based on the content of our posts), but we remain anonymous to let our words speak, rather than potentially being directly assailed or having our credibility questioned.  We wish to draw attention to the issues, not to ourselves.

Hopefully, as we add to this blog, some central themes will become apparent, any glaring problems will be identified, and if there ever comes an end to this blog or not, some good outcomes will result (and we won't sound so much like raving lunatics).  At the very least, we hope our ideas and perspectives will expand the debate, even if we are roundly criticized.  We write this blog as our contribution to the global dialog, and accept the associated risks.

As is the world, curriculum reform is a continually evolving project and we believe that even the creators and supporters of the Common Core State Standards Initiative know it is neither a final product nor immutable.  We should emphasize that we are not solely picking on Common Core, but also on the various iterations that led to its existence.  We just single out CCSSI for examination because it is current, landmark, and the culmination of all previous reform efforts.

We should mention that as our thinking evolves, we've been tweaking some blog posts, particularly those in which we suggest improvements.  The ability to amend sure beats getting archived for posterity in The New York Times.  It's ``funny'' how something makes perfect sense when you write it one day, then when you re-read it another day, it sounds pedantic, or worse—as we said, writing a blog is hardWe'll always be our own biggest critics.

Follow us on Twitter or via RSS, if you're interested...or email us, if you're not put off by our namelessness.  There's a lot of noise out there and it's difficult to be heard through the din.

Also, feel free to join in the discussion.  This is not a competition; we are all working towards the greater good.