The teams of Los Angeles Unified educators huddled around the auditorium of the Northridge middle school, brainstorming and debating innovative new strategies for teaching math.
Their chatter filled the hall as they worked together on ways to keep kids from giving up on a troublesome formula, techniques for demonstrating multiple solutions to a single problem and methods for encouraging students to learn more from each other.
Standing on the sidelines, Byron Maltez watched with satisfaction as principals and teachers embraced the next big shift in public education.
"Just look around," said Maltez, LAUSD's interim instructional chief for the San Fernando Valley. "This is how classrooms are going to look under Common Core. Students aren't just going to be sitting at their desks. They're going to be up and working and collaborating and trying to solve problems together."