Name: Joseph Joyner
Job: Superintendent of the St. Johns County School District
Q: How well prepared do you feel for the Common Core?
A: Better than a year ago. We’re not there yet, I would say we’re probably 50% there. I am excited about it. It’s going to take a lot of training on the part of teachers and parents, but I think we’re a good ways there and I think we’ll be there in ‘14, ‘15.
Q: Do you think it’s an improvement?
A: Common Core? Absolutely. Absolutely.
Florida had, you know, a million standards. And they say they were a mile wide and an inch deep. It was like the goal was “how heavy could your standards book be?” as opposed the depth.
Common Core has really turned that around. It’s less standards, it’s much more rigorous. What we expect of children is much higher. It’s going to require a lot more on the part of educators but it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
Q: How have the Common Core standards changed the way that you do your job?
A: I think everything I look at when it comes to instruction is now focused on the Common Core—from the instructional materials to staffing, training and development. Buying instructional materials, for instance: you’re not going to buy anything that doesn’t directly relate back to Common Core.
What you create and provide in the guidance—we call them curriculum maps, which is sort of a map for both the standards and the pacing that we give to teachers—it’s all based on the Common Core now. So our scope and sequence, our focus, everything that we do, our instructional practices (which is a big a piece of that), how we teach—is also focused around it. It has become a major driver.