Common Core. Common Core. Common Core. Are you sick of hearing that phrase yet? Well, you better get used to it, because many educators think it’s going to be here awhile. Whether you think it’s a scheme masterminded by the federal government to brainwash our children or not, it’s changing the way teachers teach, students learn, and how schools are testing. For New Times’ annual Education Today issue, we bring you four separate (but equal) stories about how Common Core is affecting local school districts. We talk technology (or the lack thereof), how curriculum’s being shaped without officially sanctioned course materials, what could help English learners, and what teachers think of things. Plus, a local program that uses the power of nature to educate.