Standards regimes are now a very visible element of government policy and practice around the world. These policy regimes bring to the forefront issues of transparency and accountability. In most cases no one would object to being asked to be accountable or to be transparent in their practices, however, issues of power and control emerge when governments use standards as a vehicle to control the actions and professionalism of teachers. In this paper I argue that issues of accountability and transparency are at the core of an active teaching profession. In particular I suggest that teachers collectively have a primary responsibility to contribute to public debates about the quality of teaching and the quality of student learning outcomes. To this end, teachers need to have a voice in shaping the form and content of teaching standards and to be actively involved in ensuring that their practices are accountable and transparent. Importantly, the nature of how teachers make judgments about student learning and curriculum design and delivery needs to be understood, especially how these judgments rely on the intersection of experience, theory and reflection.