Once upon a time, there was an exceptional school district in a wonderful community. The citizens of Topnotch valued education, and they raised their children to do the same. In fact, the children were so motivated to learn that the Teachers considered themselves fortunate individuals indeed. For what teacher wouldn't want the satisfaction of teaching Students who soak up knowledge like sponges? And then strive for more! There was educational bliss in Topnotch.
The Teachers realized that the Students of Topnotch deserved much more than simply aiming for mastery of the state standards. They knew that the Students would benefit from even higher standards. So all of the Teachers met at their shiny, polished Round Table, sharing best practice, curriculum ideas, and methodology. They worked day and night molding, sculpting, and firing up the curriculum, in order to ensure that their Students would achieve higher standards while being excited to learn. And it worked.
The children flourished, the citizens were happy, and the Teachers were thrilled that their district was ranked amongst the top in the state. Proud of everything they had worked hard to create, the Teachers were driven to strive for even more success. All was well.
Then, without warning, Change loomed on the horizon. The state standards were being overtaken by Change, and panic ensued. "Relax," said the Teachers. "We are experts, and we can handle Change. We will again meet at the Round Table. We will learn how to use Change so that the Students of Topnotch continue to thrive and succeed."
But the Palace did not believe that the teachers were experts. They brought in Outsiders who knew nothing of the exceptional Students and teachers of Topnotch. The Palace unceremoniously removed the shiny, polished, round table, as the teachers looked on in horror and disbelief.
And this is the sad story of how Topnotch ended up with a scripted curriculum program that comes in a little box. A curriculum that is far inferior to the one that the teachers of Topnotch spent years perfecting. The teachers no longer feel proud. The teachers no longer feel like experts. And the biggest tragedy of all? The students aren't half as excited to learn.