My family participates in a nannyshare. For those who might not be up on modern daycare arrangements, let me explain that a “share” is when families—typically two—share the services of a nanny. One of the fun side-benefits of a share is that you get to know other families quite well. The father of the other child in our share right now is a DC public school teacher. He left a lucrative job as a corporate attorney a few years back because he loves learning—history, in particular—and thought he could make a great contribution in the classroom. Anyone who meets him sees that he just oozes with the energy and enthusiasm that can make a great teacher. But, in talking about my work for Common Core, he admitted that he’s been frustrated to see how the pressures of testing have thwarted his efforts to convey important knowledge to his students. The way he explains it, every year after the winter break, word goes out across the school that the teaching of social studies must halt. The reason is that early January is the point in the school year when every class turns into a test-prep class, no matter the grade and no matter what subject the teacher normally teaches. He’s allowed to resume teaching social studies in April, after testing season has passed, but says that it is difficult to get his students to pick up the narrative once again. Students undoubtedly also take the subject less seriously, since they see their school doing so. No matter how many studies you read about the narrowing of the curriculum, hearing one teacher’s story is sobering.