There's been a lot of talk at our school lately about the state learning standards, about common assessments and assignments, and about departmental alignment at the course level. In addition to that, the AB75/AB430 courses I'm currently taking have been demonstrating to me how the textbooks in Mathematics and Language Arts (particularly from Prentice Hall publishing) have been rewritten to address the standards. The books practically teach themselves, and come with the lesson planning built into the teachers' edition.
If the teachers of a certain course are all teaching the same thing at (more or less) the same time, using the exact same tests as other teachers' courses of the same level, narrowing all instruction to fit the scope of the state learning standards, and using books that already have the lesson planning included, aren't we just one step closer to turning each teacher into an interactive CD-ROM?
And isn't that just sad? One day I'd love to go back to the classroom. I just hope it's still there when I do.