If you are paying attention to the debate over the Common Core State Standards, you've probably thought, "let's wait and see what happens and go from there."
The problem is, we've waited long enough and the longer we wait, the worse things get for our children and our future. The more we allow ourselves to be distracted by the noise and uncertainty of debate that affects public education, the longer we wait to start. Too much is at stake, and time is of the essence.
As Superintendent of Bulloch County Schools, I am here to tell you that regardless of what happens with legislation affecting learning standards, we will forge on with high expectations and high standards for our students. It will be nice if we don't have to "reinvent the wheel" and put everyone through unnecessary work, but if that's what has to happen, then that's what we will do.
Did I mention that too much is at stake and time is of the essence?
Having a strong set of progressive and aligned standards is at the core of what our students must learn, regardless of how we go about it. How we go about that is our choice, and we are putting a good plan into action here in Bulloch County Schools.
Our community leaders have come together and recognized that we must be a college- and career-ready community; one that pools its resources and offers the best possible opportunities for our children and our future. Furthermore, the Bulloch County Board of Education has stepped up to the plate by developing a strategic plan that is the foundation and road map for our common vision, while empowering the leadership of this school system to make it happen. But the journey will not be without challenges.
Under my leadership and support from our Board of Education, this school system will not shrink in the face of these challenges, and we will not shirk our duty to do what must be done. Our students and community deserve excellence, and that is what we will deliver. Isn't that what we expect?
We will do this through a strong vision and a community-developed plan that prepares our students for educational and employment opportunities, whether they choose to stay in this region or compete in a global market.
Students will be guided through a K-12 career-readiness program that exposes them to life and career opportunities throughout their educational experience, so that their interests and capabilities can be developed to achieve personal success and become productive citizens.
We will do this through a systematic approach at all levels that empowers our schools to be innovative, while using rigorous and aligned standards, even if we have to develop them ourselves here in Bulloch County.
Finally, we will hold ourselves, and each other, accountable by measuring our progress, while continuously improving to meet the needs of our students.
This means that we will adapt as professionals and adults to make sure our students succeed. The world won't wait on us, and it won't make excuses for what happens if our children aren't prepared. We, in Bulloch County Schools, are committed to excellence and will do "whatever it takes" to give our students the opportunities they deserve and prepare them for their future — our future. Please join us and help us move forward now, to make the difference our children deserve.
Charles Wilson is superintendent of Bulloch County Schools.