This information comes from our friends at LAPACC, Louisiana Parents Against Common Core.
In this post, you will find the testimony of a Louisiana teacher. The identity of this teacher will not be revealed, you will just have to trust that we have verified this to be from an actual teacher.
We hope that this brave teacher’s testimony will open the flood gates. We invite each and every Louisiana teacher to send us their up close and personal look at what Common Core is doing to education. All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, brave teacher. We thank you and support you!!!
“Common Core.” I first heard those words uttered only a few years back. I still remember going to a fellow classroom teacher’s room during my planning period to watch a state education webinar that gave some very “basic” information about it. After viewing it, we all had mixed emotions. We weren’t sure exactly what it meant. It didn’t sound too terribly bad. From what we were told, it was a curriculum that got rid of unnecessary grade level expectations that we were already struggling to fit into our jam packed curriculum back then. It would supposedly focus on the basics and concentrate on them longer until they were mastered by the students. Another proposed positive of the coming national curriculum was that it would ease the transition of students that moved from one school to another or moved from one state to another. As you can see, none of this sounded like anything scary. As a matter of fact, it sounding like a positive change was coming. And one thing was told to us in certainty, “This IS coming.”
Fast forward to this year (2013-14), and I can tell you that I am a very frustrated teacher that is now being forced to teach this nationalized curriculum that is everything that I never expected it would be. Proponents of this say that teachers have more autonomy than ever in the classroom. This just isn’t so. In fact, it is the complete opposite. You see, as the curriculum was falsely advertised to us in the beginning, it was also blindly accepted by our governor and state department of education. They accepted money from “Race to the Top” initiative and adopted the standards before they were even written. The standards have been written now, but as we delve deeper into what these standards truly are, they are not standards that are a part of a positive education movement but a political movement fueled by agendas and money. We have been coerced into teaching THEIR curriculum and THEIR ways after accepting THEIR money.
As a quick example of how we no longer have autonomy, all I have to do is mention several things that have been forced into my classroom this year. In a scramble at the district level to align to the new Common Core curriculum, our district selected and spent a ton of money on a Common Core aligned textbook series for Language Arts. We were told that we “must” use the series since so much money was spent. Additionally, the school board has formed teams that perform “walk throughs” that go into the schools and classrooms to monitor and make certain there is evidence that Common Core is being taught, along with certain strategies for teaching these new standards. The visit from this team ultimately results in each principal’s evaluation. Do some quick research, and these “walk throughs” and observation processes come from training by companies, such as “Teachscape,” to our districts which are funded by the Bill and Melynda Gates Foundation. They want to make sure their funded initiative is being followed through within the schools and its classrooms.
Today, there was a show that aired on TV, “Frances and Friends,” where a panel of experts was chosen to discuss and expose what Common Core really is. This panel had recently spoken at an “anti” Common Core forum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They uncovered how this curriculum’s agenda aims to eradicate literature, rewrite history, and take away logic and geometric proof. They talked about how this curriculum does not truly promote rigor or critical thinking. As the panelist Jane Robbins stated, “This is not an education model, this is a workforce development model. We have an alliance of government and big businesses, and then we have the private foundations who are benefitting from all of this (Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, etc.). We are going towards a two tiered society, which is the ruling class (the elite and ultra rich) and the workforce (poverty level class).” As I watched, I found myself nodding in agreement, becoming enraged, and wanting to do something about all this. To quote another of the panelists, Emmett McGroarty warned, “Every check and balance in the American system has failed with respect to this issue. We are down to the last check and balance, which is the American people. That’s the issue on the table. Will the people reach out, pick up their telephone, call their state representative, call their state senator, and call their governor and demand to get us out? Get us out [of Common Core] now!” We have a narrow window to act. Are we okay with this educational mush and political propaganda taking over our education system? What will we as teachers, parents, and the American people do? That is the question. We must stop these personal agendas that will take over our culture and our children’s minds before it is too late!
Crazy Crawfish Says. . .
The next time you see a poll or survey of teachers that were in favor of Common Core, remember that what is promised and what people say yes to is not always what is delivered. The Promise of Common Core did not live up to the reality. Sometimes in life salesmen will sell you the lemon, trying to make a fast buck. As responsible consumer, it’s your job to return it when they do, to tell others about your bad experience, and to shop somewhere else next time. The free market does not work when government simply tells you to make lemonade out of your lemons, and like it. Do your job, folks. Here’s the testimony of someone doing their job. There is no dishonor in making a mistake, but there is in just accepting the damage without trying to mitigate it after you become aware, and allowing others to be harmed by your decision and your silence.