to engineer LAUSD's
Common Core program
Los Angeles Unified's Common Core State Standards program is being engineered by deputy superintendent Jaime Aquino, a native of the Dominican Republic, where he graduated from college at age 20 and became a teacher.
Early in his
was offered a job in New York City, and within just a few years was named the state's Bilingual Teacher of the Year.
He reluctantly became an administrator at the urging of his mentor - a job that eventually landed him a posting as chief academic officer of Denver Public Schools.
Aquino was working for a national education reform organization when he joined Los Angeles Unified last July as the $250,000-a-year deputy superintendent for instruction.
With a doctorate from Fordham University in curriculum and teaching - with a specialty in language, learning and literacy - Aquino
was handed responsibility for a number of high-profile programs.
crafted a new homework policy, designed a district-wide college-prep curriculum and created a master plan for teaching LAUSD's
"It's been a very challenging time for the district, especially for Jaime
, with all the financial problems we have," said school board member Nury Martinez
, who represents the east San Fernando Valley.
Now 47, Aquino
is an exuberant participant in many of the Common Core training sessions, giving him the opportunity to return to the classroom setting he
Before leaving Denver in 2008 - well ahead of the creation of Common Core - Aquino
told a reporter he
thought the U.S. needed national academic standards and assessments, but didn't think it would happen in his
Now, four years later, Aquino
is working to make those reforms a reality.