Now, with back to school, teachers will being reporting their experiences with Common Core, and here already is one. This teacher says she is dedicated to her students in a school that is likewise very supportive of students’ education and their dreams for the future. But they’ve got Common Core, and it’s full-blown now. Last year was a “transition year,” but this year it goes all the way.
She wrote the referenced piece based on her experience, being instructed on the implementation of Common Core in her school, and what is expected of her and her students. It’s worth the read entirely, but here are some highlights:
I was told numerous times that if students did not excel, it was that I was failing the student…
I was told that I need to challenge students by bringing them to their “frustration level”– that doing so would challenge them to work and that they would rise to the occasion.
I envisioned students throwing up their hands in resignation and transforming into behavior problems.
She doesn’t demonize any particular person in her article, but she does question CC’s choice to evaluate the teacher based solely on testing, on a curriculum that itself has never been tested. That does seem a bit hypocritical, doesn’t it? She also seems to resent the idea that rather than be consulted, as a seasoned professional, she is simply told.
I understand that this is the nature of top-down “leadership.” The only one with the freedom is the one at the very top. All others have some consequence, the outcome of which they seek to determine by controlling the actions of those lower than them in the chain. So I understand why my district is so prescriptive in telling me as an English teacher the specific literature I am to use and why my school administration is telling me not only what to teach but how to teach it, down to the exact lesson template. They are grasping for control.
Because of the ridiculous, arbitrary expectations placed on both teachers and children, by non-professionals who craft and direct Common Core, the author predicts that the number one 21st century job will be that of a mental health counselor. That’s sounds about right.