CFCC stands for Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee. What a mouthful. I applied in August of 2012, and was appointed in November, without any real sense of what I was getting myself into.
We began meeting in February in 2013, and met once a month for a two-day meeting in the board room at the California Department of Education in Sacramento. We always had homework, and big packages from FedEx would land on our doorsteps mid-month with draft chapters of the Curriculum Framework. We went through those documents line-by-line, and page by page, and as the months went on, the committee dug into everything we know about teaching literacy skills, writing, and love of literature and learning to the children of California — all of them, in all of their amazing diversity. The collective expertise in the room was staggering. I sometimes wondered why I had been chosen from the huge stack of applicants to serve on this committee — my experience has been so specifically focused on the last two years of high school, preparing those kids to move on to whatever’s next in their lives, be it college, the military, or work. But my voice was needed, and I was able to make contributions to the document that made it stonger. I can point to my work, and see my influence.
I read all 1450 pages, (and much of that twice or three times), and I estimate that I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 hours reading, writing, listening and speaking — actually living the four strands of English Language Arts.
In the end, we got a Certificate of Appreciation, thanks from the committee and the CDE, and a piece of cake. The work was unpaid. Yet, I have never been prouder of any work that I’ve done. My life is richer because of it. The friendships I made, the many working relationships forged in that room, the depth of my understanding of the important work we are engaged in, and the deep faith that has been restored in my profession — all of that is incalculable.
I cannot wait for the document’s release to public review. It is certainly imperfect, yet so much better than anything I’ve ever seen designed to help teachers, districts, county offices, professional development providers, publishers, and teacher preparation programs. Stay tuned to this station. I will certainly let you know when it is released.