A serious threat to our educational system is Common Core. This federally driven, top-down program approach to education is robbing local control from our school districts and parents. Common Core brings more unproductive testing and reduces our children’s time for real classroom education. Homeschooling, charter schools, and our public schools are all affected by Common Core. Common Core doesn’t make us more educated, employable, or competitive; it makes us less so. We must stop the attrition of local control and quality education, and we start drawing the line with Common Core.
In Pueblo, several schools have not improved but are failing. The state is considering a ‘state school district’, robbing Pueblo and parents of local control over their schools and their children’s education. Other states such as New York and Massachusetts are also suffering from this poorly conceived idea to improve education. Their schools are failing their children, too. We all want better schools and our children to have the very best education. Let’s not let foreign companies with a lot of profit to gain from our ignorance of their ulterior motives to get rich at our children’s expense.
As a charter school board member, I see Common Core in our curriculum and it’s there because of the grants we have with the State. As a small school, the impact is less because we have filled in the gaps for education goals. But we are vigilant and work closely with our teachers to and education advisers to ensure we provide a full curriculum. Our public schools do not have this option of filling the gaps in their curriculum.
It disturbs me to see teacher performance measures that are completely out of a teacher’s ability to control. Does a teacher have any control over parents? Does a teacher have any control over the students assigned to their classroom? No, yet it is among their evaluation criteria.
Another stunning revelation was teachers being tested in their specialty field. The tests had very little to do with what they were teaching or the students in their class. Yet, these teachers could not teach until they passed an unrelated, certification test. These teachers have numerous degrees and published papers. They work in the field and take each child’s education personally. Don’t be confused. I believe these teachers should maintain their expertise, but frivolous tests do nothing to improve education, a teacher’s expertise, or the classroom environment.