All teachers just love Common Core right? No, further evidence that there is not 100% consensus on the part of classroom teachers. We would probably see more speak out if teachers were not placed under gag orders with their jobs threatened.
Pauline Hawkins, an English teacher at Liberty High School in Colorado Springs, CO, resigned her position at her school last week in part over the Common Core State Standards. Her story has gone viral, and I was told she was interviewed on Fox News this morning. I’ll update later with a video if it becomes available.
Here is an excerpt of her resignation letter (if you haven’t seen it already):
I have sweet, incredible, intelligent children sitting in my classroom who are giving up on their lives already. They feel that they only have failure in their futures because they’ve been told they aren’t good enough by a standardized test; they’ve been told that they can’t be successful because they aren’t jumping through the right hoops on their educational paths. I have spent so much time trying to reverse those thoughts, trying to help them see that education is not punitive; education is the only way they can improve their lives. But the truth is, the current educational system is punishing them for their inadequacies, rather than helping them discover their unique talents; our educational system is failing our children because it is not meeting their needs.
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 are a proper education.
Update: You can find her interview on Fox News here.