Teachers and Parents Defy Gag Order and Speak Out Against Common Core

Nearly a century ago, the founders of the modern public school system believed that they could change America through the public school system. They said that having our kids for 7 to 8 hours a day for 5 days a week for 9 months a year for 12 years would be plenty of time to train them in their progressive socialist philosophy.

Over the past several decades, we’ve been reaping the rewards of their plans in the election of so-called liberal politicians who in reality are progressive socialists. There have been several that occupied the White House in times, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and now Barack Obama. It also explains why so many Americans are clueless to what’s going on in America and vote for socialists like Obama.

One of the latest weapons in the public school socialists’ arsenal is known as the Common Core Standards. I and others have written numerous articles about the many problems associated with Common Core and even about some states that are getting rid of the socialist curriculum.

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Socialists have become so protective of Common Core that they’ve even managed to institute gag orders to prevent teachers and parents from speaking out against it. However, some parents and teachers are so fed up with the garbage being taught to their kids that they are speaking out anyway.

One of those is Carol Burris, Principal of South Side High School in Rockville, New York. Burris was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year, but has surprised many by announcing her early retirement, which I suspect has something to do with her speaking out against Common Core.

Burris wrote:

“Many New York parents are in rebellion. They are determined to see Pearson’s Common Core test machine grind to a halt. The state’s Grade 3- 8 opt-outs will likely exceed 200,000 and those who allowed their children to take the test are not happy campers. Parents and teachers are refusing to be bullied into silence about this year’s tests, exposing the well-above grade level reading passages, and tasks that are bringing young children to tears.”

“First, the numbers.”

“Parent Jeanette Deutermann, who started Long Island Opt Out, keeps meticulous account of the numbers of students by district who refuse the tests. She has developed a network of parents, teachers and administrators who accurately report refusals. She is presently reporting that on Long Island alone, there were 81,931 test refusals on the English Language Arts exam. You can find updated numbers here. Newsday has translated raw numbers into percentages, estimating that over 40 percent of all Long Island 3-8 students refused to take last week’s ELA Common Core state tests. Numbers in some districts reached well over 70 percent, with at least one district exceeding 80 percent. It appears that no more than seven of the 124 districts on the island will meet the testing threshold of 95 percent. And that is before this week’s math tests, when opt-out numbers are expected to climb, as they did last year.”

“Although Long Island continues to have the highest regional numbers, the movement has spread to all parts of the state. Loy Gross is the parent of two children in Batavia, New York. She home-schools her two children because of her dislike of the Common Core State Standards initiative. She keeps meticulous state records of Common Core test opt-outs, both last year and this. She is presently reporting 177, 249 test refusals across the state with data from only 64 percent of all districts. Last year, her estimate of 50,000 was close to the final state tally of 60,000.”

“It seems clear that the final 2015 tally will well exceed 200,000 students. New York State will likely not make the minimum 95 percent federal requirement for testing.”

Burris also wrote about Jessica Whale, a fourth grade teacher at Jennie E. Hewitt School in Rockville who stated:

“And all year they’ve [her students] been so proud of their academic growth, I’ve been congratulating them so much as of lately…they’ve blown me away. Now, they were in tears…and I heard… ‘I thought I was smart, I guess not’ ‘I’m stupid I can’t even take a test.’ And more.”

“I got into teaching because I adore children, I love changing their lives, creating beautiful people….I have been stripped of that. And I can’t imagine doing it, this way, another 20 years. It’s hard to rest my head on a pillow at night, and feel good about what we are doing to these kids.”

She also shared several other complaints, some from parents who said:

“* requiring fourth graders to write about the architectural design of roller coasters and why cables are used instead of chains”

“* a sixth-grade passage from ‘That Spot’ by Jack London, which included words and phrases such as ‘beaten curs,’ ‘absconders of justice,’ surmise, ‘savvy our cabin,’ and ‘let’s maroon him’”

“* a passage on the third-grade test from ‘Drag Racer’ which has a grade level of 5.9 and an interest level of 9-12th grade.”

“The eighth-grade test required 13-year-olds to read articles on playground safety. Vocabulary included: bowdlerized, habituation techniques, counterintuitive, orthodoxy, circuitous, risk averse culture, and litigious.”

Other parents have lodged complaints about Common Core that recommends that hormonally raging teenagers read books that promote pornography, pedophilia, rape and incest. Is it any wonder that we are seeing a huge increase in the number of sexual assaults on students by other students and teachers?

Common Core standardized testing along with other similar testing wastes days and weeks of time that could be better spent teaching students the truth and what’s really important. They spend days out of their learning just to prepare for the standardized test and then several days taking the tests. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize what a huge waste of time and resources the tests are and that they yield false assessments of students. One fourth grader in Florida spoke eloquently to a local Florida school board which you can see here.

A teacher that taught my daughters at a Christian school has contacted me a number of times defending Common Core. She has been trying to persuade me that Common Core is not as bad as I’ve claimed. While it may contain some good, it also teaches anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-family and pro-socialist philosophy. As much as I respect her, I cannot stop writing about the problems and agenda of Common Core until it has been successfully removed from every classroom in America.





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