In Dana Goldstein’s book, The Teacher Wars, the author strives to present a balanced history of contentious issues swirling around the teaching profession. As New York Times reviewer Alexander Nazaryan wrote, Goldstein reminds “readers that teaching was a fraught profession long before “Waiting for ‘Superman’ ” flickered across the screen and everyone had an opinion about the Common Core.
Billie had her reservations about these endeavors, depending on how the current debates were proceeding, and the level of discourse offered by fellow panelists. She was an advocate — one among many — for a component-based analytical approach. She argued that however gifted a given teacher might be at sensing the needs of a particular student, it was more important to understand what component skills formed the basis of a learner’s competency in a subject.
The Arizona community college system worked to articulate a position on this subject for its “vocational” student population in the early 80’s, but Billie would hardly be surprised to learn that the issue was far from settled thirty years later.