The Hickman Community Charter district had already done the background work, outfitting the campus with Wi-Fi, Superintendent
State funding for Common Core -- about
That per-student amount is a fraction of what school districts, the state and nation will shell out to implement the new Common Core philosophy, standards and teaching techniques -- and legions of companies and consultants have lined up to help them spend it.
Districts will also need to buy new materials matched to Common Core standards for what students learn in each grade, and the state has yet to weigh in with approved choices. It last approved math books in 2007 and English textbooks focused on fiction in 2008.
Common Core demands kids grapple with factual information, for which most schools have dusted off old science and social-studies books. Those subjects were only tested in certain grades under No Child Left Behind, and sometimes other grades skipped them altogether.
But recycling books goes only so far because of dramatic changes in what is taught, district instruction specialists said. Math will change the most, with some skills being taught in different grades and a full reboot for the age-old nemesis of fractions.
To answer the need, a n industry has grown up around Common Core. Choices for what to teach students range from paper textbooks, tablet apps, online games and videos. Software programs identify areas teachers need to re-teach based on missed test questions. Districts can invest in focused lesson plans, games, workbooks or activities to address those areas.
Much of the same also exists online for free. The California Learning Resources Network, based in
The cost of Common Core goes beyond new textbooks and technology. Districts are also spending heavily to update teachers on the standards and strategies.
After a decade of test-centered, assembly-line lessons, veteran teachers say, they are taking a different approach to lessons -- far more like the teaching of a generation ago. Goodbye pacing calendars and subject blocks timed to the minute. Hello interactive lectures and hands-on activities. Collaboration is the new buzzword, and teachers will be expected to share lessons and work in teams.
The last time
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