Posted on | December 19, 2013 | Comments Off
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.