IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker was among a handful of local education leaders to take part in a three-hour county presentation on the new Common Core instructional standards Thursday. The public forum, held in Newport Beach and titled "Transformational Change in Education,” sought to demystify the new standards, which will place more of an emphasis on thinking critically and creatively, articulating positions, taking intellectual risks and collaborating effectively. Set to be phased in over the next two years, the Common Core standards are also more closely aligned with college expectations. Local educators expressed optimism that the changes will benefit struggling students as well as advanced learners, according to this report in The Orange County Register. "What we all know is good teaching is going deep, understanding the relevance of what they're learning," Walker says in the Register's story. "This isn't something new. We know what good instruction looks like."