Though the bulk of criticism about the content of the Common Core academic standards has come from parents, many teachers are growing increasingly vocal about how the new standards are affecting their daily jobs in the classroom. These teachers complain that Common Core is not allowing them to use their own individual skills in teaching their students.
As FoxNews.com reported, some teachers say the new standards are forcing lessons to revolve around data and testing with methods and strategies that are counter-intuitive.
“Now teachers aren’t as unique,” said Michael Warren, a public school history teacher. “It means anyone can do it. It’s like taking something done by humans and having it done by a machine.”
Glyn Wright, executive director of The Eagle Forum, a watchdog organization that is opposed to Common Core, told FoxNews.com, “The standards were created by private organizations in Washington, D.C., without input from teachers or parents and absent any kind of study or pilot test to prove its effectiveness.”
“In fact, the only mathematician and the only ELA [English Language Arts] expert on the validation committee refused to sign off on the standards because they are inadequate,” Wright added. “Yet the standards have been copyrighted and cannot be changed, and this is resulting in a loss of local and state control.”
As Breitbart News reported Friday, the origins of Common Core go back even further to the early associations between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers when they worked together on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), an education foundation that was founded by Ayers and of which Obama was chairman.
Criticism about Common Core by teachers is fairly recent and some believe it is associated with new teacher evaluations that are based on student test scores on the Common Core-aligned assessments. In exchange for federal funding to avoid teacher layoffs, states – many of which signed onto the Common Core – agreed to greater accountability with students’ progress linked to teacher performance. Since states that have already conducted the Common Core assessments have shown significant decline in student scores, teachers are concerned about how the new standards will affect their tenure.
Some teachers, however, feel the pressure associated with the new standards simply takes the joy out of teaching.
“I was given a curriculum and told by my administration to teach it ‘word-for-word,'” FoxNews.com reported that one teacher wrote on a Washington Post blog. “In a meeting with my administration, I was reprimanded with ‘Don’t forget, standards drive our instruction.'”
“I’m unable to do projects anymore because we have so much other stuff to do that is based on the Common Core,” an anonymous teacher told FoxNews.com. “All the teachers at my school, all we talk about is how we don’t teach anymore and we feel like robots just doing what we are told to teach and can’t have any creativity for the students to enjoy themselves.”
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten, who is a supporter of Common Core, said the rollout of the new standards, complete with plummeting test scores, lack of time for schools to develop curricula associated with the standards, and extreme focus on the Common Core test areas to the detriment of other subjects – has been disastrous.
“You think the ObamaCare implementation is bad?” Weingarten said in Washington last month. “The implementation of the Common Core is far worse.”