To the Editor:
We are disappointed that your story about the Los Angeles Unified School District’s iPad rollout with Pearson’s Common Core System of Courses excluded teachers who are enthusiastic about the program (“Concerns Over Curriculum in L.A. iPad Plan,” Oct. 30, 2013).
As we noted several times during telephone and in-person interviews, this is a rolling implementation. The iPads contain exactly what was promised for this initial phase: sample lessons for teachers to use and become familiar with alongside their current LAUSD curriculum. Pearson conducted training for nearly 1,500 teachers on the sample lessons and continues to have support teams on site at each of the 47 first-implementer schools.
The purpose of this phased-in approach is to help teachers transition more comfortably into three major changes—pedagogy, technology, and curriculum—in conjunction with the transition to the Common Core State Standards. The next phases of the implementation will include two to three full units with 60 days of instruction for teachers to use in their entirety, and then a full curriculum in every grade for K-12 English/language arts and K-8 mathematics.
Underlying Pearson’s development of its Common Core System of Courses curriculum is the belief that the teacher is key to the quality of education provided to students.
The curriculum is designed as a workshop model that engages students and teachers in a variety of activities. It provides opportunities for students to develop their ways of thinking about complex text and complex problems individually, in pairs, or in small groups, and then share them in a whole-class discussion. This ensures that students are developing deeper cognitive and meta-cognitive academic skills as well as their personal skills: communication, collaboration, problem-solving, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
The assessments in each unit, both formative and summative, provide teachers with the information necessary to differentiate education within their classrooms.
Because this is a digital curriculum, the feedback received from teachers and students can be used to continually improve the product.
Common Core System of Courses
Los Angeles, Calif.
Vice President of Programs
A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as Pearson Responds to Article on Rollout of L.A. iPad Plan