Re: “Maine educator chosen as finalist for $1 million global prize” (Jan. 7):

I am a great admirer of Nancie Atwell. “In the Middle” was a seminal book for me as a teacher and an administrator in public schools. It empowered educators to build their own effective curriculum for use with their students.

The Center for Teaching and Learning puts into practice the best research on professional development for teachers – a hands-on environment where teachers can see effective practices modeled, have the opportunity to use them in a classroom and talk about their experience with expert peer mentors. Real change in the classroom is possible with this model and isn’t with the traditional dog-and-pony show that Ms. Atwell came to reject.

However, the article states that teachers had no part in the development of the Common Core standards. While the business community’s influence will be disruptive and unhelpful in the implementation and assessment of the Common Core standards, teachers have been instrumental in their development:

 They served on the work and feedback groups for the English/language arts and math standards.

 The National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of English, among other organizations, were instrumental in bringing together teachers to provide specific, constructive feedback on the standards

 Teachers were members of teams that states convened to provide regular feedback on drafts of the standards.

I believe that it’s not the standards but how they have been pushed into schools that will prove to be their undoing.

Teachers have not been given the time, resources or professional responsibility to integrate them into a curriculum that will make sense to their students. Nor have they been fully consulted in developing responsible and rigorous assessments consistent with the curriculum’s content and process.