In the almost 40 years I’ve spent in public education, I have seen a lot of change. When I started in 1975, schools had rotary dial phones, duplicating was done with purple ditto machines, dry erase boards had not replaced chalkboards, special education was a brand new and somewhat unknown mandate, many girls sports were in their infancy, attendance was done in paper registers, and computers and the internet were barely on the horizon. (OK, OK. I won’t say that we walked to school uphill both ways barefoot in the snow…) In the mid-1970s, politicians really didn’t get too involved in education. At the time, state governments and the federal government had a very limited influence on curriculum, and there wasn’t much standardized testing.