If you want to have an interesting time, find a public school educator (it doesn’t have to be a teacher — it can be an administrator, an academic coach, or a teacher on special assignment) and ask them to explain how Madera Unified is going to spend that $3.8 million that has been allocated to the district to implement Common Core, the brand new curriculum the state adopted back in 2010.
The chances are that the answer will be something like, “We’re working on it.” Well, that has me thinking about the past. I always do when faced with a conundrum such as California’s schools are struggling with today.
This is not the first time education has changed in California. All we have to do is visit the early 20th century for a few moments. Back then there was no guesswork; everyone knew exactly how the cow ate the cabbage.
County boards of education, not local school boards or superintendents, controlled both the content of the curriculum and its implementation. There was no ambiguity. Everyone knew what was expected and those expectations were far different from those of today...