In an unlikely twist, it’s not lack of money that’s blocking San Diego Unified’s way as it prepares to roll out Common Core standards. It’s time.
Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown budgeted $1.25 billion to help school districts transition to new standards that weigh critical thinking skills above rote memorization. San Diego Unified’s slice is about $22.5 million for the next two years, the majority of which will go toward professional staff development.
For teachers, the change might mean redesigning lessons and asking students “why” as often as “what.” It could also mean using more technology in the classroom – something not every teacher is comfortable doing.
And with a trial run for the new Smarter Balanced assessments just months away, San Diego Unified can’t say precisely how many teachers, or how many schools, are fully prepared for the new curriculum.
It’s not that the shift has caught the district by surprise. The state Board of Education adopted the new standards in August 2010, backed by San Diego Unified’s full support.
The biggest problem is that until recently, the district didn’t have the money to spend on professional development.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Here are the key words - Common and Balanced - Two words which are "nice" in conversation, but seriously lacking in practice. There is nothing common nor balanced in the nationwide six month principal search for La Jolla. Where was (or is) the commonality for the Lincoln or Hoover search? Where is the commonality, when the Core professional development is "go when you can" or "go when you can get time"? And where is the balance in (or at) school sites when there is no balance and you're either "on board" or out.
Here is the Common and Balanced: The school board conversation around quality in every neighborhood - Paraphrased as "It's good that we are beginning the process of looking at various ways to explore avenues to begin the conversation, and to allow all stakeholders an opportunity to provide input in achieving our goal in reaching 2020 with a quality school in every neighborhood". Yup, that's common and balanced with SDUSD board members!!
Get the point?
What's not balanced is trustee Foster's adamant dialogue about diversity with Human Resources and hiring/placement. However, what is common is her mentality of "diversity over competence".
Rookie to Board VP..? - Huh?
Oh Ms. Marten, what have you gotten yourself into?