That is scary.
That close-mindedness can be dangerous. That is like sweeping your own kitchen floors while the neighborhood around you is in flames. Look up! Pay attention! Danger!!! You could prevent your own house from going up in flames. That legislator could prevent getting voted out of office, if only he would listen and respond to his constituents.
Does it matter that other states are pulling out of Common Core and out of the PARCC agreement? Absolutely! Oklahoma, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Florida, & Kentucky have all withdrawn from the PARCC test. Others, like TN, are in the process.
Does it matter that other states "rebranded" Common Core Standards by simply changing the toxic name? Same pig, new lipstick. Voters aren't fooled. New legislators to be elected very soon in these states:
- Arizona (aka: "Arizona's College & Career Ready Standards")
- Iowa (aka: "The Iowa Core")
- Florida (aka: "Next Generation Sunshine State Standards")
Does it matter that Indiana withdrew from Common Core, only to implement nearly identical standards to Common Core?
Whatever you call it, they are still developmentally inappropriate, not state-led, and are the same nation-wide standards written by and for testing companies. These attempts to change the name of Common Core just make voters even more upset. Voters sure don't like to be tricked or manipulated, and they remember that in the ballot box.
Here are some very loud warning bells from New York:
New York is one step ahead of Tennessee with Common Core implementation. Their students took the Common Core PARCC ELA exam produced by Pearson last week. A wise leader should heed these warning sirens:
- 31,000 of NY students (which is 10% of their students) opted-out of the test. Even more are expected to opt-out of the math tests in a few weeks.
- "I administered Grade 4 ELA. Completely inappropriate passages and even worse questions. Students are totally set up to fail to make teachers appear incompetent. A number of my students had sick stomachs due to stress. THIS IS CHILD ABUSE!!!!
- A 4th grade teacher in New York
- ADVERTISING embedded in the test: "Today's 5th grade test book had a passage instructing kids on "how to be a smart risk taker." One of the instructions was to, "Think about Nike (TM) and their slogan 'Just do it.'" Another example of product placement was in 6th grade - "Barbie." Product placement in 6th grade, day 1 (this one actually made me laugh out loud): iPod -registered trademark of Apple Corporation."
- A teacher in NY
- "Proctored the 4th grade exam and was horrified by the lack of literary flow in just about every passage, but only in moments when I wasn't pausing to reflect on questionable grammar. Reading it was painful and the accompanying questions were ridiculous."
- New York proctor
- "I have been a principal for 10 years, with the last 7 in a district in Nassau County. In all my time as an educator, I have never seen a more disgraceful state exam. The third grade ELA was particularly complex and even inappropriate. The State Education Department should be ashamed at how they treat teachers and children! I work with the most brilliant and capable teachers, but they were completely demoralized and even saddened by what they witnessed today. When will politicians and Albany put teachers and children FIRST!!??"
-Eric Nezowitz, Principal
- "No, it's not a mistake. Yes, the test makers knew what they were doing. What were they doing? Creating a set-up for failure to use as more ammunition to prove that public education is failing." - An upset NY parent
- This was written by a Principal to parents: "Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have just completed three days of the New York State English Language Arts Exam. Your children were wonderful and worked incredibly hard. On the whole, we think that we were able to protect them from the worst stresses of the test, and most seemed fine during most of the exam. However, the teachers and administration are truly devastated by what a terrible test it was and how little it will tell us about our students. Because we are bound by test security, we cannot reveal details but we can tell you that we have never seen an ELA exam that does a worse job of testing reading comprehension. There was inappropriate content, many highly ambiguous questions, and a focus on structure rather than meaning of passages. Our teachers and administrators feel that this test is an insult to the profession of teaching and that students’ scores on it will not correlate with their reading ability. Because of this, the staff has decided to hold a protest outside of school TOMORROW, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, FROM 8:15-8:35 to express their extreme dissatisfaction with the ELA exam. Parents are invited to join the staff before going into classrooms for Family Friday." - Principal at PS321 in NY
Legislators: Tennessee Parents know the tricks played in other states of renaming and/or delaying Common Core but still implementing it. We know our rights as parents, and we know who these tests are designed to profit. We know our votes count in the ballot boxes across the state. Parents know what is best for our children. Our voices are loud. We hope you heed these warnings.
Where we’d learn about rhythm and rhyme,
But now that standardized tests have set in,
They tell us we just don’t have time.
There was ‘Poem in Your Pocket’ day,
Where you share your unique voice,
But now creativity’s gone away,
Now it’s nothing but multiple choice.
They say tests show how smart you are,
And teach you all you know,
But how does filling in circles,
Help anyone learn and grow?
In class, when we could be thinking,
Learning how we can go far,
We’re categorized by the grades we get,
Like those numbers are all we are.
- Eliya Ahmad, age 12 (written on back of ELA testing booklet, April 2, 2014)