Over the past decade, many California teachers, especially in low-performing schools, were expected to teach a scripted curriculum. The advocates of this approach hoped to ensure that all students were exposed to high quality – or at least good enough – teaching. California’s choice of this strategy has left us with a generation of teachers who either never learned the skills involved in designing instruction or had little chance to practice them.
This is a huge problem as we move into the world of the Common Core, which comes with no scripted curriculum and no political will to impose one even if it existed. We need to start helping teachers learn and practice the skills of instructional design. Many districts have begun this work, and even those that have not started are coming to understand that this is what is needed.