Today I engaged in a long (almost all day) debate with other educators about what is best for kids. In many cases, we agreed to a certain degree, yet there were plenty of difficult periods were we clearly disagree.
While I discussed and engaged with them their ideals that stem largely from experiences with democratic schools, I took up a role of defending standards in education. Through all of the discussion, no matter how much we all agreed on certain methods, the bottom line was a disagreement on whether having standards in some way invalidates the authenticity of student learning. I argued at length that it does not.
All of this discussion led me to remember one very important thing, despite the fact that we may disagree on many things, all of us are coming to the discussion with the goal of doing what is best for kids. So long as educators and those in education maintain that focus, education will continue to grow and serve our children more effectively.