Diane Evans, a recently retired Wyoming educator, wrote a letter that speaks of concerns and addresses many questions we all should be asking about Common Core’s implementation. I hope that many people across our state and even nation will have the opportunity to read it.
A question one might ask after reading this is, “Why aren’t more teachers speaking out, or asking these same questions?” I know from personal experience that it is truly about fear of repercussions from those that are, “just doing their job”, and implementing something that shouldn’t be in our schools in the first place. Of course there are those that believe that Common Core will be the next best thing for education, using words such as “rigor”, “global competiveness“, and “national collaboration”. Those words are the sign of those that have not looked into the un-American way CC was brought to our local schools. These are the same talking points that the creators and funders of CC would have you believe are the reason we need this sweeping change to education standards. There are even those teachers that claim that since using CC wonderful things have happened in their classrooms. Those things could have happened without the government mandating the change, along with more data collection, federally funded curriculum and testing, and loss of local control of education, stifling the voice of parents, teachers, and school boards.
Read Diane’s heartfelt questions and concerns:
February 4, 2014
To Whom It May Concern:
As a former Wyoming educator, I have several questions concerning the implementation of the common core standards and why the federal government is pushing so hard to centralize the power of education away from local control and into Washington. The Federal Government needs to be up front with the people in answering these questions.
What is the reasoning behind all the student data collection? Teachers are inundated with record keeping and student data collection. What is the real purpose behind this? How is it improving the education system and how is it going to be used? What types of data are being collected? How concerned should parents be about the use of that data?
Why has the Federal Government pushed schools so hard to implement these standards and offered financial incentives to do so? What has happened to the local control and parental empowerment in our education system? Why is Washington centralizing more education power to the federal government? What is our entire education system going to look like in the next five to ten years? Will national standardized tests force identical curriculum mandates across the nation? If so, who will choose that curriculum?
Concerned parents need to be asking these questions. They need to ask for real answers and transparency when it comes to the education of their children. I am concerned at the lack of transparency from not only the federal government, but the state governing bodies as well. Our elected officials need to represent the people with openness and honesty concerning the common core standards and their long term goals and effects on the education system.
Hopefully, these questions will be answered honestly and parents will have a clear picture of what the schools will look like in the near future. Hopefully, parents will begin their own research into this issue and take a stand for the education of their children. As educators, we encourage students to think “out of the box.” This new push for equality, squelching creativity in the classroom, and placing the control of our education system into the hands of the federal government might just put them back into that box. Let’s do the research and find out the answers to the many questions that are looming over the implementation of these standards and why the big push for the federal government to take over the control in this area.