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Reporting on Common Core starts in Pomona with candid talk between labor and management

Posted on | December 19, 2013 | Comments Off

 

Pat Dolan leading discussion in Pomona

Pat Dolan leading discussion in Pomona

I spent two days this week with the teachers and administrators of the Pomona Unified School District as they sought to find a way forward in implementing the Common Core.

Associated Pomona Teachers took seriously the requirement in California law that school districts were supposed to “consult” over implementing the new standards and testing system.  (This requirement was part of the conditions attached to the $1.25 billion that Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature sent to school districts to prepare for the new standards.)

Pat Dolan and his associate, Ann Delehant, who may be the best labor-management process consultants in the country, led administrators, school board members, classified workers, and teachers through a series of conversations designed to allow them to judge their capacity to work together.

Pomona was the first stop for me on what will become The Common Core Road Trip, an investigation into how the glossy promises of higher standards and deeper learning meet the reality of districts, schools, and classrooms.

Morgan Brown, the executive director of APT and superintendent Richard Martinez heard some unvarnished opinion about the sometimes-rocky relationships between teachers and the district, but anger and tension flowed rather seamlessly into some concrete ideas about sharing work and decisions.

I’ll have much more to say later, but I didn’t want the week to pass without recognizing the substantive work going on and saying thanks for letting me sit in.

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About

Charles Taylor Kerchner is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Claremont Graduate University. My daily musings appear in the blog. The archives of my EdWeek blog are available via link under the 'On California' head. Some of my photography can be seen by clicking on 'Gallery.' And numerous links to academic work and other research and commentary can be found by clicking on 'Projects.'

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