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A Letter to Educators Who Embrace the #commoncore

Dear Educator Friends,

While the common core may not be an issue for you, or your school, do know that for others it will be a major issue. And the problem is this, while the standards might work for you and your school, there are many standards in CC that do not work for many students and many communities. Creating a set of national standards that cannot be changed, in which only 15% can be added (which must be approved by the DOE) is a serious problem when we know that the K-3 standards are developmentally inappropriate and will CRUSH children in high need/high poverty schools. There is no picking and choosing with CC – it’s all or nothing – therefore, many children will be failed under this system. Your children may be unscathed, but for the students in my school – it will be devastating. The CC will fail many students, teachers, schools, communities. So, that’s just my take on it when considering the standards as an innocent stand alone – which they are NOT. And of course, let’s remember that they were not created by classroom teachers and they have never been field tested, this alone is enough for me to refuse the CC because I find it highly shocking that anyone thinks it is acceptable to use children as guinea pigs for an experiment created by the 1%.
However, let’s then take a look at CC for the monster it truly is – let’s throw out the whole conversation about good standards/bad standards because bottom line is that the bigger picture is not so much about the standards as it is about how well we and our children can be controlled and managed by the CC. This is about using the standards to gather data in order to control students, teachers – pretty much the whole damn system, so that they can determine how we will be used – to meet their needs- in this game called life. This is about profit via data mining. This is about creating a class of workers to meet the needs of the 1%. This is about taking public education and managing it and US – because right now, there are too many of us out there that think out of the box – teachers and children who think creatively and independently are dangerous to their ultimate goal. They don’t need us to create or be independent – they need us to follow rules. When Obama and Gates’ children follow the common core and their teachers administer PARCC or SBA – somebody can tell me I’m wrong. In the meantime, just know that when PARCC or SBA roll out in 2014-2015 they will have placed one more nail in the faster-every-day death of public education, the destruction of the teaching profession, and this dying democracy. So, we MUST refuse it as a society – and quick – they will continue to create rules and regulations that make it even harder to rebuild our schools..our democracy.
As a teacher, take and use what works for you – just like you would any textbook or any curriculum back in the day when we had teacher autonomy – but as a collective we MUST refuse it in its entirety – we cannot pick/choose – therefore it – along with HST must go. CC and HST will never be separated because they need the two working together in order to complete their plan. There is no autonomy – for anyone – within their plan. And just know that all this crap recently about giving us flexibility and holding off on teacher evaluation etc. etc. in order to allow us time to embrace the common core is nothing but crap – they will use this time of “flexibility” to create more ways to enforce their plan while the majority of educators breathe a big sigh of relief and think they are getting a break…they think that the 1% heard them and supports them. Bull@%$^. Do not be appeased – they are planning as we speak to devise ways to shut us down. We must stay awake and we must refuse. REFUSE. Sorry this is so long, but I think a lot of you and had to share my thoughts – as a friend.
Much love,

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Peggy Robertson

Peggy Robertson has taught kindergarten, first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth grade. She currently is an instructional coach at an elementary school and devotes...