It may come as no surprise to those of you/us who have been trying to point out the deficiencies of Common Core, that our input is often met with derision, hatred, venom and now even threats of violence. When I first wrote an article about my experience in with Common Core about a year ago I admit I did not fully understand what was going on, and that I was perplexed and confused by the homework at times. Many of us were. I understand Engage NY Curriculum is not the same as the Common Core standards, but it is derived from them and entirely related and relevant to discussions of Common Core. Moreover, in Louisiana the only State approved Tier 1 resource that LDOE endorses is Eureka, which is the “paid” version of Engage NY. From what I’ve seen this year the only difference between the two is that districts have to pay for Eureka products, and the branding at the bottom of the resource worksheets.

I wrote an entry on my blog to explain how many parents were feeling and because no one in power was listening to the complaints and concerns of parents. Many of us felt marginalized and maligned rather than engaged or listened too. Many folks who embrace the standards, like this teacher that recently posted on my blog talked to us this way when we expressed our concerns:

Sarah Berry, teacher (and provider of Common Core Teaching materials?)

Are all you people Fin crazy? Not a one of you know what the hell you are talking about. If parents can’t add their doubles then we have a bigger problem than we realize. As for the author of the original article; spend more time doing research than criticizing curriculum that you have no idea about. You have no degree in curriculum development (that is obvious) nor do you have a degree in education, your expertise is that you have a child. Just like you have a background in mathematics; that’s right, you had math in school and you learned just fine. Again, obviously not if you don’t know the benefits of doubles. What addition facts give most first graders difficulty? Oh that’s right, you don’t know your doubles so how in the hell would you know 6+7 or 8+9 or 5+7 Doubles helps student make sense of new problems by using their prior knowledge, something you have obviously lost! 6+7 can be seen as 6+6+1 more and is called a doubles plus one. Or you 6+7 could be seen as 7+7-1 and is called doubles minus one. But since your head is so far up your ass and you can only see how “you” were taught, not the benefits of teaching kids the “mathematics” vs. the short cut. When you get your teaching degree, earn your masters in curriculum design, spend time actually in the classroom teaching students, work as an administrator along side professional teachers, then you can write a blog regarding Engage NY math curriculum. And please do all the teachers in your area a favor, don’t have another child just because you can!

I had reports of many parents across various school districts being addressed this way by their teacher and other Common Core proponents. Perhaps Sarah does have all the credentials she implies she has, but what she does not have is people skills or the ability to work well with others. She may not want me to have any more children, but I don’t want her to be “teaching” any more children or engaging with any more parents. Based on this comment I would judge her as a disgrace to her profession. Fortunately not all teachers feel the same way Sarah does or I would be waging a war on teachers the way Reformers do. I actually try to support teachers and engage them constructively and I don’t think they should be evaluated just on a test score tied to a student tied to Common Core, like most, if not all, Common Core supporters do.

As victories are being made across the country against Common Core, it is clear that the strategy of marginalized and mocking parents and making children cry as a measure of rigor is not working. Amazingly this type of antagonistic attack below does more to enflame passions and solidify positions, but I’m sure it made the poster of this comment feel superior for a little while.

Chris Jenson (parent?)

And there are alleged teachers who completely agree with you in the comments. Amazing. I feel forced to point out that, as an adult who went through the old educational system, your clear lack of cognitive ability and problem solving skills, and most horrifyingly the “teachers” who agree with you, are the most telling examples of why we needed education reform in the first place.

I have seen and endured (and sometimes deleted) many of the comments because of racists, classist, and bizarre defenses that included call me and other parents [Expletive] Libertards, an ignorant hillbilly, nazi [expletive], redneck Teabilly/bagger, educational knuckle dragger, etc. I’m sure many parents have endured these insults also. At meetings I’ve attended or others have attended we endured hour upon hour of insults at the hand of Common Core supporters from LABI, Stand For Children, the Louisiana Charter Association, APEL, TFA, Chas Roemer [BESE President) talking to his sister Caroline Roemer Shirley (head of Louisiana Charter Association), as well as representatives from Exxon. We don’t all wear badges to identify who we support and oppose, Senate Education Chair Senator Apel, and these folks were quite brutal and obnoxious in their assessment of our intelligence, possible inbreeding, and sincerity of our tears being shed. We do listen quietly, and nod, and the report back. You have shown your true colors and made us enemies, probably permanently.

This situation is really unfortunate. I have come to meet some teachers that I believe really believe (it appears largely faith based) that these standards will help children. These teachers literally preach the gospel of Common Core, as they tell us in 10 to 12 years we will begin to see the fruits of our labor. I do not have the background in teacher, nor do I have your faith in a system that is fundamentally overly bureaucratic and flawed and that refuses to admit to its shortcomings. I cannot have faith in something that was sold under false pretenses to the American Public and which continues to be sold with lies by proven liars, Reformers.

It may be that Common Core, developed slowly and truly collaboratively, introduced gradually and with forethought and consideration of all stakeholders could have been successful.

If Common Core had not been tied to High Stakes tests for grading teachers it might be easier for people to buy this is for children and not corporations that seek to privatize education.

If concerns had been addressed thoughtfully and respectfully and if there was some local autonomy in the adoption, and possible changes to areas that even the developers of Common Core have realized they had to make it might have been more palatable to folks.

If Arne Duncan had not forced this upon states through Race to the Top Grants and ESEA waivers to free states of impossible No Child Left Behind standards it would have had less of a Federal Takeover feel.

If the messengers of Common Core were not many times proven liars about charter schools, Value Added assessments of teachers, virtual schools, massive school closings of poor children’s schools, and purveyors of temp teachers over experienced and more expensive ones it would have been met with less immediate skepticism.

If Common Core had not been adopted sight unseen in many(most) states, like Louisiana, and a true discussion had taken place, it would have been hard to say this was done clandestinely. Lying about this situation and telling parents the standards were around for 4 years ignores the fact that many parents had not been exposed to it until recently. It was your job, as education leaders, to reach out to parents and engage them before this blew up in your faces. You failed to do that and now you have a mess. Parents immediately objected when they were exposed to it for the first time, but you (officials and official channels) ignored them and forced them to create a grassroots movement bound by social media to spread the word and oppose you. No matter how many times Will Sentell from the Advocate prints that it was around for 4 years (since 2010) without objection or controversy, it does not alter the fact that most parents and children were not exposed to it, and when they did they immediately freaked out and were completely marginalized, ignored and disparaged by even the Secretary of the Us Department of education.

“All of a sudden, their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought … and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said at the event Friday.

Do these folks really not get it, or do they think they can simply bully and bulldoze their way over parents like they have been doing to our children and teachers for years?

Now that parents have former their own channels of passing information and started to rack up some victories in various states, some supporters of Common Core are getting scared, and getting angry. People like Michael Mulgrew, Head of the United Federation of Teachers, are directing their anger at the wrong people.

Teachers union honcho Michael Mulgrew unleashed a venomous screed directed at anyone who would dare threaten his beloved Common Core agenda.

 “If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine! You do not take what is mine!” the head of the United Federation of Teachers shouted in a speech at a convention last month in Los Angeles.

The rant was posted Thursday to the Ed Notes Online blog.

“And I’m going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” added Mulgrew.

Punching parents in the face might seem like a good idea to Common Core supporters, since their lies have failed to convince parents, maybe fear and anger will force them to back down? I kind of doubt it though. What it has done for me is to settle into a state of resignation. I can see you guys don’t want to talk. When you did talk you lied, and we caught you. Then you lied some more and we caught you again. Then you ignored us and shoved this down our throats and mocked us. You told us no one gives a shit what we think or feel like David Coleman, architect of Common Core, because that’s really how you see the world and our place in it.

(You can see the Coleman clip in the link below)

Now Common Core proponents are using strong-arm tactics and threats of violence and telling us we are too stupid to have any children for you to teach. I admit, I do not want you teaching my children either. Many parents have been pulling their children out of public schools to homeschool them to escape teachers like you. That will work for a time, but I know corporations are forcing Common Core in private schools and homeschool legislation is next. In fact, in order for parents to be allowed to continue to homeschool their kids, they must still teach them some Common Core to pass the required tests. This is why you will find many parents that are now homeschooling their children continuing the fight against Common Core.

Will we simply wait 12 years for things to work out? I doubt we would have to wait that long for these to change, but not because of the needs of students. Now that textbook and testing corporations are so intimately involved with these “Standards” and the textbooks and supplemental materials that go with them, we can be sure they will be changing pretty quickly in ways that force the previous textbooks and materials into planned obsolesce so they can sell more, more frequently.

I am tired of trying to convince people by showing them an example here or a lie there. This becomes a never-ending cycle of lies and examples and counter-examples. I will even concede that some of the content and standards appear fine or even good in some cases. When we redesign our own curriculum I hope to keep the good, discard the bad, but most importantly retain local control of what and how we teach without regard for High Stakes Testing, just High Quality Learning. What is clear is that this was done poorly and that those that support this initiative failed to address the concerns of all stakeholders, and have switched to even more aggressive tactics which have permanently poisoned the well of public support.



25 thoughts on “The Violence and Hatred of Common Core Fanatics

  1. It’s ironic how “Sarah” kept saying you have no right to an opinion on Common Core because you are not a teacher. Has she not done her homework on whom the CCSS were developed by? Hint- it wasn’t teachers.

    I actually worked giving input to the developers in their pretend attempt to involve educators at the state department level (back when there were educators at LDE). Trust me, not only did they not take our suggestions, they also did not take suggestions from national experts. CAST (look it up on the internet) gave them input that was ignored, as I’m sure other experts in teaching and learning were.

    You may not be a teacher, Jason, but you are an educator. You do your homework (research) and educate the public on the truth about the corporate, for-profit reformers who are hijacking our students’ futures. And you have the right to use the term “our students” because you actually are the parent of some, hence they are yours. Unlike John White who says “our students” when he is not a parent of a single child in Louisiana, nor do he and his TFA cronies even feign a long-term commitment to OUR STUDENTS AND OUR CITIZENRY.

    You are the real deal and he is a cardboard cutout.

    And I managed to say all this without one curse word. Sarah needs some robust vocabulary development.

    1. Lol. Thank you very much for your support. I have media asking me to provide more and more examples but they are missing the point here. We are beyond the example phase. This is now a war that they declared on parents. I don’t see any compromising going forward because of the lying and maligning. What has been punched cannot be unpunched.

      1. Yes, that Union thugs horrible speech! 😦 Geaux get them.

        I’m going back to read a book.

        The NOLA editorial board article today seems to endorse ‘common core’. 😦

      2. I have just got to be missing something here. What is this Union guy so upset about?

        “If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine! You do not take what is mine!” the head of the United Federation of Teachers shouted in a speech at a convention last month in Los Angeles. “And I’m going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” added Mulgrew.

        I hope they are not letting this guy anywhere near a classroom.

        1. It is strange. Maybe he’s looking for a Gate’s grant our CC related job. It was way over the top and really very disturbing coming from a national leader, of a profession that deals closely with small children, no less.

  2. You… several others…Paul Thomas, Mercedes Schneider, Robert Shepherd…all the people who consistently and calmly match the reformers lies with examples of their inconsistencies, are leading this fight. Diane is awesome, but she believes that there is a compromise with these people. There isn’t. What they are about is a complete takeover of public education, paying 15-20% ROI to their investors, they are vampires. This fight is the stuff of myth, and it can be won.
    It isn’t about professional credentials, the stakes are much bigger than that. One of those stakes, driven through the heart of this monster…

  3. Good points. I agree that many of the standards and other changes presented could have been good and positive. “Change” became divisive & toxic. Good, positive changes don’t have to be nor should they be divisive in a toxic way. Differences of opinion, varying perspectives on what needs to be involved as part of the change process, order of priorities, etc., I would expect and would expect disagreements & debate surrounding these and other issues. I would’ve never expected being where we are now if the goal was to collaboratively & cooperatively work toward improving our edu system. It is very unfortunate to put it mildly.

    1. The words bantered about at the LDE are collaboration and cooperation when it comes to what they want TEACHERS to do. The reformers never intended to collaborate or cooperate with real educators. They instituted a smear campaign against teachers from day 1, telling the public we were the entire problem and they know better how to educate students.

      Of course educating the general population was never their goal. Adding to their own coffers and controlling the masses is their real goal. Control as their goal is very obvious when the main architect of the CCSS seeks to instill that no one gives a s*** what students think (therefore don’t bother to think) and the curriculum (oops I mean standards) instructs students to leave their own thinking behind and only investigate what someone else (authors of suggested materials) thinks and has to say (confining answers to only text-based evidence is figuring out what someone else thinks). Students can’t even discuss what they think the someone elses think.

      This is real close to what the Holocaust Museum lays out in its displays and discussions of the book banning/ burning and attempted mind control by the Nazis.

      You are a non-person so leave your brain at the door when you enter the school building. Answer in unison, stay in a straight line with arms folded and heads down, mark the right answers on the test and you will be able to walk across the stage – right on over to your service job where no one gives a s*** what you think. Sounds like a Utopian society – for the ruling class.

      1. Many reporting stories/experiences on several points you discussed–one that stands out is collaboration/cooperation w/ those who agree and excluding other thoughts. That’s a red flag for sure. Another is the intent (or lack thereof rather) to educate the general population on all the issues & pros & cons. Disingenuous to advocate for critical thinking and not provide all points of view to critically think & form individual opinion. Disingenuous to advocate for change and not be willing to listen and change yourself. Disingenuous to advocate for choice and control PR & data in a way that does not provide access to all and informed choice. Finally, disingenuous to advocate for local control, empowerment, autonomy when your actions show you mean for those who are making decisions that you agree with, not all decisions those closest to the kids originally come up with. I guess basically actions aren’t matching up with “beliefs” & too many instances of that to ignore it. So yes…I see your points clearly.

          1. I agree totally with that. I’ve advocated for kids in many capacities. I’ll just say I’ve never seen such an inflexible form of change in the name of innovation, empowerment, choice, & advocacy for kids. Feels more like some of the challenges we already faced on steroids. Always (cautiously) hoping for meaningful (in action) change in direction, possibly admitting where this may not be good instead of just changing messaging & acting like new messages weren’t discussed repeatedly by those considered as the enemy or anti-reform, implementation, treatment of others…some type of positive movement along those or other lines people have discussed going forward.

    2. You know I wanted to reach out to folks and hopefully forge a compromise. That attempt was met with derision and contempt, just as they continue to heap on parents across the nation. I don’t see any middleground to meet them on, and they can’t defeat us all forever.

  4. I am a second grade teacher in Louisiana with 18 years experience. I thought Common Core would be a good thing because we were told that it would narrow the scope of what we taught to allow for more mastery.

    Last year, I learned that tests were to be given with the common core. I tested my students so much last year that they would moan when they heard the word test. We had pre-tests and post-tests in addition to Discovery Tests. Our children were also tested in reading three times each school year.

    This year we were told that we would have to teach Eureka Math. We had one day of training during the summer. The presenters kept making mistakes and leaving steps out of the lesson that they chose to demonstrate for us.

    When I started trying to teach this math, I realized just how awful it is. It is way over my student’s heads, it is not enticing to a child, the print is too small, the work spaces are not big enough, and it is way too wordy.

    The really sad part is that my students are missing out on a quality math series like Go Math!
    I taught this series last year and my students had really high math scores at the end of the year. I believe that they will not develop a love for math and they will come to believe that they can’t be successful at math. This makes me very sad and angry.

    I enjoy reading your comments and agree with all of them.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. It’s good to hear what is really going on in the field from folks in the field, not just the propaganda and feel good believing and chanting that comes from LDOE.

  5. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    We need teachers and students to love learning. We need a system that’s responsive to the needs of different stakeholders. It’s not simply about left or right. The whole culture has to shift toward spreading truth and extinguishing lies.

  6. Engage NY is common crap just like common core. I lived through 4th grade engage NY math with my child. The fact that I’m not on medication is miracle. However, my child is on medication. I guess that those who support cc have their snobby rich children in non cc private schools. I can’t understand how someone can support this crap. Oh maybe they never went over it or read the material aka obumacare. And to the idiots that say “Teachers are using it “- – – because they are require to. Just b/c they are using it does not mean they support it!

  7. The passion they erupt in is not for standardized core but the money and power attached to it. In a way, these tantrums speak to their desperation because the curriculum is not going to fly. It became a national joke, exposed teachers unions’ betrayal of the rank and file , illustrated the sabotage and subterfuge of the reform movement and makes folks aware of the way schools work or don’t . When s union thug makes violent threats obviously directed towards teachers there is transparency and a symbolic snap shot of what many teachers contend with daily in many forms , including union thugs and especially district suit .
    This pugilist has been railroading teachers into rubber rooms for awhile. Like Weingarten he wants to hobnob with Bloomberg and Broad. Both advocate for Bill Gates , pitch common core , take money from Broad and subscribe to same acrimony reformers and educRAT$ ooze towards rank and file teachers, As Mulgrew’s demonstrates .teachers are easy to demoralize and degrade i cannot imagine many approving of this brute or Weingarten who cackled in the clip . She also remarked that Mulgrew’s was going pay to for this joke, her tone & word choices implying these likely responses will be made by neurotics –unreasonable, entitled & self indulgent teachers. They even applauded , a lot of them so mistreated by administrators they defer to bullies automatically, i think we need to keep this video rolling so others see what we are dealing with.
    Like you I am resigned to unfortunate outcome(s) but I do not see common core in our future . It became a national joke and even Gates cannot resist the yank of reality in casino capitalism . Gambling is never a safe bet. You know these defenders of the core are investors with Pearson and Apple stock. They are also ambitious enough to have Conflict of interest,
    False pretenses and worse. Ruining dues paying members reputation and retirement , derailing poor communities, , breaking laws , lying and open expressions of menace are no problem for thugs like this .

    1. This threat sounded directed at me, a parent and non-teacher. Even though we disagree I am not threatening to go beat supporters up on national TV. He has traveled into the psycholand he accuses us of being in. Thanks for dropping by!

  8. Nuts. The NOLA editorial board supports common core?

    Or perhaps they are just opposed to wasting tax payor dollars in lawsuits?

  9. I have taught for nearly 30 years and do not consider myself an”alleged” educator in any way. I despise those who do not teach, haven’t taught in years or the politicians too corrupt or apathetic to know what is really going on in the classroom. CC was not written by teachers nor were solicited to do so. CC is a joke.

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