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Demand accountability from your local politicians!
on April 8, 2014
I purchased The Cult of Common Core this morning and read the first couple of chapters. I had to read a few passages out loud to my husband because they were so damning of the Common Core Standards.
I have carefully followed this story for the past couple years and have written quite a bit about it on my blog.
This week in the media I sense a real terror brewing as various states are being pummeled by anti common core activists in their locales. Here in Utah the teachers have been threatened with huge fines if they attempt to disclose any details about the testing that is currently underway. And students across the country are also being threatened with huge fines if they disclose to anyone what was on the test. The increasing panic behind the threats makes me certain that the average American would be revolted if they knew what was on those tests. Brads disclosure in chapter one of his book that the test is not set up to assess student knowledge so much as to flag which teachers are problematic to the system makes it obvious that a brainwashing of the American School Child is underway in our country.
In chapter one he shares details about the three days he spent in Chicago in March of 2013 after being asked by the Arizona Department of Education to fly out and work on the PARCC test.
"After the first of three days working on the Common Core test things just did not seem right.
...My Common Core handlers' demeanor caused me to become suspicious that there was something else going on and things were not quite as they seemed.
...In answer to questions I had about a student writing sample, my Common Core handler blurted out, "We don't ever care what the kids opinions are. If they write what they think or put forth their opinion then they will fail the test."
...I have always taught my students to think for themselves. They are to study multiple views on a given topic, then take their own position and support it with evidence. "That is the old way of writing, "my common core handler sighed. "We want students to repeat the opinions of the 'experts' that we expose them to on the test. This is the "new" way of writing the Common Core."
I discovered later that this was not just some irritated, rogue Common Core handler, rather this was a philosophy I heard repeated again and again. I pointed out that this was not the way that teachers teach in the classroom. She retorted that, "We expect that when the test comes out the teachers in the classroom will imitate the skills emphasized on the test (teach to the test) and employ this new way of writing and thinking."
I began to feel sick. What had I gotten myself into? This new way of thinking was to make our students into little brainwashed automatons that will just spew back a position on any topic given to them? Was I unwittingly playing a part in this scheme? Would other teachers really teach this "new" Common Core way?
They I remembered that the Common Core method of evaluating teacher effectiveness ties teacher pay and teacher evaluations to student test scores. The new data systems under Common Core would enable central command to see what you are teaching in the classroom with online lesson plans, grade books, student grades, online textbooks and test scores. You bet your ass many teachers will adjust their teaching."
I believe politicians should guarantee complete immunity for any teacher from loss of job, fines, and/or harassment who has the courage to speak out about what is happening in their classroom! Taxpayers have the right to know what sort of nonsense is being done with our money. I would also encourage any student, parents, and/or teacher who comes across anything problematic with a textbook, test question, homework assignment, or fuzzy math problem to go ahead and take a photo of it and upload it to the internet for everyone to see.
I have zeroed in on math on my blog and the various examples of math nonsense have been revolting to see: [...]
Thanks Brad for writing such a great expose', I look forward to finishing the book this week.