Re "A curriculum crunch for California," Editorial, April 22
You are correct that California isn't prepared for the new Common Core State Standards, but neither are the rest of the states.
Under development for nearly 30 years, common core will usher in a new way to teach children. Understanding is emphasized. Common core concentrates not only on what is taught but how it is taught.
Hallmarks of this new approach include "collaborative discussions," "project-oriented learning," "academic language across the curriculum" and "evaluating information." It will stress not only what the students know but also how they got to their answers.
We must now ask the following questions: Are the teacher training institutions making the necessary changes? Will teacher evaluations begin stressing the skills needed for common core? Are parents ready for new kinds of homework and test-score reporting?
Common core is revolutionary, and we all must make adjustments.
The writer, a 1997 inductee into the National Teachers Hall of Fame, is a member of the Garvey School District Board of Education.
The definition of "reform" is to improve by alteration. What was broken and needed to be reformed in public schools?
I taught in the same district from 1968 to 2002. California schools were excellent and highly ranked. Former students still contact me to express their gratitude for making a difference in their lives.
The politics that created the decline of our schools need to be reformed. Educators, not politicians, make schools excel.
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