FAIRFIELD — “Homework” for people who attend a Monday meeting of Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees about Common Core includes watching a webcast involving the “radical changes in teaching, learning and testing” for the new educational standards.
That’s not the description of critics like CA Common Core Concerns, but what the Sacramento-based California School Boards Association calls its 56-minute webcast with school district officials in the state.
“The word ‘transformational’ could be used,” said Angelo Williams, an assistant executive director. “That may be a more apt description.”
He said Common Core represents a once-in-a-generation change in standards and that it was time for such a review.
Vacaville resident Colleen Britton of CA Common Core said she’s surprised by the school board association’s use of the word “radical.”
“That’s what they like to throw at us,” she said of how the group critical of Common Core is sometimes described.
Williamson Evers of the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, among the speakers at a town hall that took place Wednesday in Vacaville about Common Core, said he’s been following education in California for decades and that homework for a public meeting is very unusual.
“I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said Evers, a critic of the Common Core learning standards.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District website states the school district is asking board members and the public to review the webcast so that the Monday session can be used to discuss Common Core rather spent watching the recorded material.
California School Boards Association representative Williams said the group has heard from a couple of school districts interested in the webcasts as preparation for a meeting.
“They want the public to know as much as they do,” he said of the webcast’s value. “They were made for that.”
Start with the facts and move forward, Williams suggested.
Kris Corey, superintendent of the Fairfield-Suisun School District, said the Monday meeting models what’s called the “flipped classroom” where homework to review materials is followed by in-class discussion.
Britton, who watched the 56-minute webcast along with a second one of 42 minutes, said the conclusions they contain include the message that, “We have to teach our teachers how to teach all over again because we’re going to be doing it all differently.”
She said challenges to Common Core bring the same brief response.
“When we ask questions, what we’re given are PowerPoint, one-sentence answers,” said Britton, a retired teacher.
The meeting is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. in Board Room No. 108 at the school district central office, 2490 Hilborn Road in Fairfield.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.