More and more teachers across the United States are abandoning their careers in education, and giving the Common Core initiative as the primary reason. An August poll showed a drastic decline in support for the Common Core among educators. 76% of teachers approved of the federal initiative in 2013, that support plummeted to 46% in 2014. Freedomworks.org posted several letters of resignation from teachers this week who revealed that the Common Core was their reason for giving up their respective careers in education. Here are a few exerpts:
I have watched as my job requirements swung away from a focus on the children, their individual learning styles, emotional needs, and their individual families, interests and strengths to a focus on testing, assessing, and scoring young children, thereby ramping up the academic demands and pressures on them.
Each year I have had less and less time to teach the children I love in the way I know best—and in the way child development experts recommend. I reached the place last year where I began to feel I was part of a broken system that was causing damage to those very children I was there to serve. –Susan Sluyter, Cambridge School District (Massachusetts)
I began my career just as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was gaining momentum. The difference between my students then and now is unmistakable. Regardless of grades or test scores, my students from five to eleven years ago still had a sense of pride in whom they were and a self-confidence in whom they would become someday. Sadly, that type of student is rare now. Every year I have seen a decline in student morale; every year I have more and more wounded students sitting in my classroom, more and more students participating in self-harm and bullying. These children are lost and in pain.
I can no longer be a part of a system that continues to do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as a teacher–I am supposed to help them think for themselves, help them find solutions to problems, help them become productive members of society. Instead, the emphasis on Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing is creating a teach-to-the-test mentality for our teachers and stress and anxiety for our students. Students have increasingly become hesitant to think for themselves because they have been programmed to believe that there is one right answer that they may or may not have been given yet. That is what school has become: A place where teachers must give students “right” answers, so students can prove (on tests riddled with problems, by the way) that teachers have taught students what the standards have deemed to be a proper education. – Pauline Hawkins, Colorado
You can read the other letters in the article. It is sad and shameful that these teachers, with decades of experience in their craft are leaving their respective careers in education due to the classroom cancer that is the Common Core. No matter their age, teachers are questioning the validity of the test.
With serious questions arising about how Common Core is data mining our children, southern states are preparing to back out. Here at Take Back Your Classrooms, we are going to give people a nonpartisan perspective on this educational crisis, and hopefully a way out. If enough of us make noise, at the right time, to the right people, then I believe that we can force our lawmakers to remove this cancer from our children’s lives. Join us, and let’s take back our classrooms!