What a travesty! Common Core national educational standards are a joke, and the state of Colorado has bought into them hook, line and sinker — sinker being the operative word! Our educational system, as we’ve always known it, is set to change this fall. 5 people apparently are responsible for creating Common Core in the Washington D.C. area (with the approval of Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan), and 5 votes brought these standards to the state of Colorado. Our governor adopted these “state-led” standards on his own in order to get some of the Race to the Top funds, and 4 out of 7 Colorado State Board of Education members signed off on it. With “No Child Left Behind” being so unsuccessful, why would anyone in our state want to incorporate a system that will be totally controlled and bogged down at the federal level? Is this really an answer to the problems in public education when Colorado’s state standards have always been higher than those to be implemented with Common Core? What are we doing to our students and their families? Colorado is even one of 9 states to buy into the pilot program for Jefferson County (close to Denver) to send student and parent information to a national database, and I’m not just talking about student test scores!
Why have parents and teachers been so silent when it comes to Common Core? Perhaps it’s because it has been slipped under the radar as much as possible. Did you or I have a vote in bringing this indoctrination program to our state? After the standards will come the testing, and teachers will be required to “teach to the test” so that their students will pass. That means the curriculum being developed is what the teachers must use. After all, most of them want to keep their jobs, and 50% of their teacher evaluations will be based on the test results of their students. How is that supposed to work since teachers usually have a new set of students every year? I could be an excellent teacher this year and a marginal teacher the following year, depending on how much of the propaganda the students are absorbing from year to year!
Does it sound like I’m totally freaked out about school systems in Colorado being required to use Common Core this fall? That’s because I am! I’m a retired educator in Colorado, with 2 grandchildren in the public school setting. I’ve invested a lot of time (30 years), effort (trying to be the best teacher I could be), and money (yes, teachers spend a lot of their own money, providing excellent programs for their individual students.)
High-stakes testing has been a total mistake. It has removed real teaching from the classroom and the joy students used to receive from learning. Teachers have had much of their positive influence erased because of constant testing and trying to fit every child into a mold of “performing to the test.” Their training is usually not the issue. The system, as it currently stands, is the issue. In the name of accountability, we are in the process of completely destroying our school system in the United States.
Parents, empower yourselves. You alone are key in this process because you can obtain the paperwork to opt out of this ridiculous system for your student. At least at this point, you have the power of free speech. At some point, that may not be the case. Will you encounter pressure? Yes ,but your child is worth it!