Last night I gave a short talk at a book signing at a local Barnes and Noble. At the Q and A portion a young graduate from Manhattan College spoke up and said… I am a NCLB graduate. What was it actually like before I went to school?

I gave her a brief synopsis of pre-common core syllabi and curricula developed by NYS teachers and a couple of examples of things I used to do in my classroom, some of which included team teaching with an English teacher. Sadly she opened her yes with excitement as I told her about so many ways we were able to engage students. One example was how we taught fiction in English and non fiction in Social Studies, often combining the two where it worked, as in the teaching of 1984 with the Russian Revolution, or Tale of Two Cities with the French.

Teachers in the group simply shook their head with sadness over how things have changed so much in such a short time.