How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child

A Letter to Commissioner King and the New York State Education Department:

I have played your game for the past two years.  As an educator, I have created my teaching portfolio with enough evidence so I can prove that I am doing my job over the course of the school year. I am testing my students on material that they haven’t yet learned in September, and then re-testing them midway through the year, and then again at the end of the year to track and show their growth. Between those tests, I am giving formative assessments. I am taking pictures of myself at community events within my district to prove that I support my school district and the community. I am teaching using the state-generated modules that you have created and assumed would work on all students, despite learning style, learning ability, or native language.   I am effectively proving that I am worthy of keeping my job and that my bachelors and masters degrees weren’t for naught.  I have adapted, just as all teachers across the state have, because that’s what we do. We might not agree, we might shake our head at the amount of time creative instruction has turned into testing instruction, but we play the game. 

Today, things got really personal.  Today I saw just how this Common Core business is affecting kids.  Not my kids in my classroom; I know how it’s affecting them and I am doing the best that I can to make this as painless as possible on them. Today, my third grade son came home an angry, discouraged kid because of school. On the contrary, my oldest son is doing pretty well with the Common Core. He’s had some difficulties, but for the most part he’s just rolling with it and we’re doing OK.  But my younger son is not my older son; which just proves that this one-size-fits-all curriculum that you are throwing at these elementary kids is bull.

That’s right, NYS, I call bull. When my eight year old boy, who loves to read to his little sister and is excited to go to back to school come July of every summer, calls himself dumb because he is bringing home failing test grades, then this has turned personal.  My son isn’t dumb, Commissioner King. He works hard to learn, he writes stories and songs, builds entire football stadiums out of Legos in record time, and he can explain how to divide in his own words.  He. Is. Not. Dumb. But when he gets consistently failing grades on the module assessments, what message do you think he’s getting?  These module assessments, sir, that have words like ‘boughten’ on them and the children have to infer what ‘boughten’ means. Did you know that boughten is no longer used as a form of the verb to buy?  According to the grammarist.com website, boughten is as foreign to modern language as the word thou. 

“Boughten is an archaic participial inflection of the verb to buy. It was once a fairly common colloquial form—it was used to describe something bought instead of homemade—and it still appears occasionally, but it is widely seen as incorrect and might be considered out of place in formal writing”

So, when my son is faced with answering questions on outdated language, on topics such as a ‘sorrel mare’ and the reading passages take place in foreign war-torn lands, when these children haven’t even mastered the basics of their own country yet, what do expect him to feel like? Do you expect him to feel like he’s just on the road to become college and career ready, which is the basis of the common core, and these challenges will only make him stronger?  

No, sir, I’ll tell you what it does.  It beats him down. It discourages him.  It exhausts him.  It makes him dread going to school and then lash out in anger at the nightly homework that is associated with these common core modules. It is turning him off of school and if this trend continues, he will be far from college and career ready because he will want nothing to do with college. 

I understand that we want to compete globally in the area of education. High school and college students should absolutely be challenged and learn to become a valuable, contributing member to their chosen career. Attributes such as creativeness, leadership, self-directedness, and being a team player are all skills that our next generation need to possess. But let’s work backwards: our high school teachers signed up for this.  We can get our kids college and career ready; and if we don’t, shame on us. Our goal as high school teachers is send productive citizens into the world. Some years are better than others. Some kids have the advantage of supportive homes, while many do not. But we know where they need to be, and if our colleges and universities are unhappy with the product they are receiving then the communication between the the high schools and post-secondary schools needs to improve. We don’t need to throw it on the elementary teachers and students. No, those teachers need to  instill a love of school so when children get to our middle and high schools they are not burnt out.  They are encouraged, excited, confident, and motivated.

Creating modules that are a scripted nightmare for both the teacher and student is not the answer. You are ruining children. You are killing their spirit. You are making them believe they are dumb because they can’t multiply and divide on the exact day that the module says they should be multiplying and dividing. You are creating a generation of disengaged children who now feel insufficient. 

This mom is angry. This educator is pessimistic. This state is in trouble. 

Sincerely,

Mrs. Momblog

Advocating for your child too? Join Mrs. Momblog on Facebook for more.  Please click the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/MrsMomblog?ref=hlImage

Please like and share from within this blog.  Thank you! 

 

About these ads

About Mrs Momblog

Mom of 3, wife of 1, teacher of 103. Sarcastic always.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,754 Responses to How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child

  1. Harry says:

    Common Core is trying to get kids to think abstractly. However, as most of us who went to college knows Abstract reasoning doesn’t occur until you are about 12 to 21 years old which is why we don’t have Pre Algebra until 7th grade. (source link is attached but it’s Piaget) Kids under 12 are destined to fail at Common Core because it is not within their scope of abilities to even understand this stuff. CC uses horrifically complicated language to ask simple questions. Like “extend your upper limbs perpendicular to your torso, then elevate them vertically to a 90 degree angle. instead of “hold your arms out in front of you and raise them above your head”. Hell, I didn’t understand abstract math skills until college. As a teacher, CC sucks. My students don’t get it (they’re special ed), and it is hard to get a child to play a game they know they’re going to lose. http://www.learningrx.com/4-cognitive-stages-for-child-development-faq.htm

    • Mrs Momblog says:

      Great comment. Exactly. CC is not that bad for older kids.

      • Lisa says:

        MrsMomblog, I disagree about CC not being “that” bad for older kids. As a teacher of 8th graders I have watched the canned modules suck the creativity out of my students. Just as your son and your students are not all on the same level, neither are secondary kids. One size does not fit all at any educational level. Many of the CCSS are excellent benchmarks, but they are bound up too tightly with the testing culture that has taken over the US school system. It is this testing culture that tells your son and some of my students that he is inadequate. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      • Mrs Momblog says:

        Funny you should mention that, because I am in the middle of writing a post on the horrific modules right now.

  2. Jules says:

    I completely feel you. Since Common Core has rolled out my child with Aspergers has gone from straight A’s to failing. For a child with OCD, and being a perfectionist this has beat him so bad that now we are dealing with some major depression because this has killed his self esteem and his love of school. :(

    • Mary Holdren says:

      Jules,
      I feel your pain, I too have a son with learning disabilites, no diagnosis yet as to what he actually has. Last night trying to do math it ended in his crying because I found a quiz that he got a zero on. He’s got himself beat down so much that he’s shutting down. I breaks my heart to see a kid who really liked school to a kid who cries as soon as I say it’s time to start homework.

  3. Tim Miles says:

    This is depressing to read. When you complain that unfamiliar words are used to teach inferences, and that reading passages “take place in foreign war-torn lands” you lose all credibility as a critical-thinking dissenter. I am then left to think that you are looking for someone to blame for your child’s struggles in school. CC is by no means perfect, but CC alone does not make or break a child’s chances of academic success.

    • Mrs Momblog says:

      We’re talking about 8 year olds here. Not secondary kids. Let him develop critical thinking skills using appropriate materials.

    • Dawn says:

      The problem isn’t the CCSS itself alone. The problem is the scripted programs written by people who want to make money, not honor child development. I’m going to go out on a limb here, based on my experience, and with no knowledge of these modules, and guess that the question that contained the word ‘boughten’ had nothing to do with inferring. The author was simply pointing out that there are archaic words on tests. It probably was within a math test, which exactly makes the author’s point for me. Eight year old children need to read at an incredibly high level, and sustain an exceptional amount of attention and perseverance to answer one math question because instead of being given a straightforward, child appropriate question they are confronted with STRESS. These are young kids learning to give up, that they are not smart, and that math is not fun because they are given ridiculous questions on test after test after test. Yes, we want rigor. Yes we want critical thinking skills. The problem is not CCSS standards themselves. It’s programs that stick Common Core on their covers to sell them, leading parents to think the commercial product IS Common Core. The second part of the problem is teating. They test so much they barely get instructional time, and the questions are poorly written.

      • Mrs Momblog says:

        Please read my newest post. It addresses all of the above.

      • Amy Hunt says:

        I agree with Dawn here about the amount of time being spent testing. My son is entering the nine week mark this week and he has already had two (he says three) standardized tests in his core classes. In my opinion this is time wasted to determine what kids already do or do not know that could have been used to teach them what they need to know. A good elementary school teacher should be able to determine that through his/her own testing and act accordingly. The teacher would also be able to create a bond or trust between the student and themselves by doing this which I fear is being lost with all the outside tests being introduced. I personally feel that an end of the year test should be the only one given to the younger set. Anything more can be stressful. I also wonder about the teacher to student ratio of the countries that score higher than us. Are their classes getting larger as ours seem to be?

    • David Wong says:

      Tim, you’re wrong, but perhaps because you’ve missed the point. The challenge must be proportional to the age. What blogmom’s described is like giving a 6 year old a full sized basketball and telling him he’s failed if he can’t shoot a free throw on a ten foot hoop. And the “war – torn lands” bit? How is that setting emotionally or intellectually appropriate for a 3rd grader?
      By the way, before you call me out for a lack of credibility you should know I lead one of my state’s top rated schools (99th%).

      • Nancy says:

        Excellent reply! I am reminded of the reading passage on a test my third-graders took. It was about traveling on the Silk Road hundreds of years ago. I could only imagine what was going on in the minds of these 8-year-olds as they pictured a road covered in silk, provided that they had knowledge of silk.

    • Justin says:

      Depressing to read, eh? … Imagine how depressing it is having a learning discouraged 8 yr old. I do not believe the gov’t is at all concerned with the well being of the child’s educational development. I believe it is concerned with control, so this post just verifies to me that they are on tract to exactly what they are going for, and we are reacting.

  4. michelle says:

    Thank you
    thank you
    thank you for this letter!!!
    I live in WI and this resembles me and my children (two boys also). I have been upset about this for the past two years.
    I teach SP. ED and they expect those kids to stay in the room and learn the exact same thing as the others. Impossible! Children learn at different rates. I also just want to mention that I think the No Child Left Behind policy is total crap. It should be eliminated entirely. This teaches kids if they don’t do their job, they will get by somehow from someone…therefore they become bums and leeches of all of us taxpayers.
    I would love to be included in your pursuits.
    Thank you again for posting this.
    Best Regards,
    Michelle Perri

  5. michelle says:

    If I have mistakes in my comment, I am a passenger
    in a vehicle.

  6. Amie says:

    I don’t believe the problem is the Common Core standards at all and so many people are placing their anger and complaints on the standards when it should be placed on the curriculum. Many public schools are taking the ability to teach out of our teachers hands and forcing them to use a one size fits all curriculum. This is where the problem lies, NOT the standards. For instance, my child had issues with our local public elementary school. She is very bright and was bored out of her mind because the teachers could teach to each student, but are forced to teach to the class as a whole regardless of ability. So we moved her to a magnet school. They follow the same Common Core standards that our public school does, but the curriculum they use is drastically different and all of the students thrive and learn because teachers are allowed to do what they went to school for…TEACH! So let’s stop placing the blame on the standards and benchmarks our students need to meet and start focusing on changing the method of which is used to get them there. That is where the problems lie.

    • Tricia says:

      Thank you . Well said! Exactly! If you know your standards and know how to teach then you will have success in your classroom. You may have students with learning development, but you take the time to prepare an Individual educational plan. Common Core raises the bar. Let’s stop dumbing down education. Kids are sponges learning 21st Century technology that changes daily. If teachers resist because they don’t want to learn it,then please get out of teaching. It is not an 8 hour day job…..more like 12.

    • It’s not entirely that simple though. If you’re in a public school, you’re being forced to follow the state mandates on this. Common Core ISN’T just a set of standards. It’s an entire curriculum. CC was written by a textbook publisher (Pearson), who then wrote the curriculum to teach it (thereby creating the textbooks that teach the curriculum that addresses the standards), and also drastically changed the means and methods for many of the disciplines (look at some of the new methods for completing math), then copyrighted those means and methods, so theirs are the only textbooks that have the material in them. They are also the same company that has the contract for writing and distributing the standardized tests that will measure the competencies. They cornered the market by using No Child Left Behind to create a monopoly. If you’re a public school relying on funding, you’re locked into the curriculum by dictate of your state department of Education. At the college i teach at, we have a flood of applications from people who were teaching in the public school system who quit because they were no longer allowed to teach. They were expected to work from scripted curricula handed out by State Ed.

      Yes, you moved your kids out of the public system. Their new school has much more leeway in what they are allowed to do. They need to maintain their accreditation, but they don’t have to conform to state mandates to do so. We have teachers in NY who are completing state dictated modules early and attempting to supplement the curriculum with additional, relevant material (like poetry in English classrooms, which Common Core does not address AT ALL on the middle school level), who were being told to shred their plans and “get back on track” teaching state modules, which hadn’t even been written or delivered yet. This is not a good model. It’s not a good system. And it certainly is not a system that takes into account the needs of learned or the abilities of teachers. This is politicians who have gotten taken in by a profit driven textbook company who sold a model to the Governor’s Association (because we all know how qualified governor’s are to make education decisions) to use NCLB as their greatest profit growth tool ever, at the expense of learners.

  7. I am sorry if this a little bit out of topic. I think NYS curriculum before CC is implemented couldn’t keep up with the international standard of education, not even match to developing country’s curriculum in Asia, such as Indonesia.
    Is CC curriculum the answer? I am not sure.
    But let me share my experience with you. I would like to hear your thoughts.

    I am mom of 3, and my children went to elementary school in Buffalo area until November 2013. They were all enrolled in Gifted and Talented classes for their Maths and reading ability respectively. They have never had complained if I put them into exercise preparing standard test a month before, and we did this every year. Therefore their score is always exceed the standard.

    The problem arouse when they are enrolled in Indonesian school system since December 2013, only the oldest (13 y.o) can adapt because she spent the early 1-3 grade in Indonesia. My 5th and 4th grade children don’t. They have enrolled into two different schools (where English is a primary language), but couldn’t keep up with the pace and the advance of Maths, Sciences, and of course….additional foreign language like Mandarin. They are only good in English–which surprisingly, most of Indonesian students in those schools speak English and understand grammar and tenses better than my children.
    Finally we decided to do homeschool by following the local curriculum yet we can adjust the pace based on the children ability. In additional, I send them to Kumon class for a mental arithmetic training.
    They are longing for going back to the US and back to their old school. I promised to send them back in the US in early 2015.

  8. Mike van der Kamp says:

    FYI, this interrnational equivalence testing has put pressure on kids and education systems around the world.
    Concerning France (where I live), the children score lower every year, and our common core with its constant testing and “bad points” system is no longer adequate. Don’t go there.

    I beg educators, teachers, and especially the people responsible to ensure children get a good education to make sure that not only children learn to read and write and count in lower grades, but that they learn the joys of working and playing toghether, to work,in teams, go reach common goals, to feel you are part of a group and to be rewarded for the group’s work.
    Stay positive and constructive in your children’s criticism, and allow them the find the best out of themselves and out of their classmates.

    I understand is isn’t easy, and that education is expensive, but it’s the best investment a government can make.

  9. Scottt says:

    Besides a generation of unengaged students, the likely unintended (?) consequences of CC will be 1) a further divide between those affluent enough to send their kids to private schools and those stuck with public schools; and 2) a further decline of the US on the world stage.

  10. kat says:

    I volunteered in my daughter’s 1st grade class last year, daily for two months as I was told she was failing and wouldn’t pass to 2nd grade. We are in CA, a common core state. The geniuses who did math did not talk to the geniuses who did the English. Bottom line. The math word problems used such complex language that the first graders did not have the language skills to understand. How are we setting our kids up for success like this?

    • Nancy says:

      I found the same issue in the third-grade class in which I subbed last year. The math problems/questions were so complicated that they made sense only to the better readers. In years past, a student might struggle in reading, but could still be successful in math, and English-language learners could understand most of the math even though they weren’t yet proficient in English. Those children could feel good about their math skills even while their reading still needed a lot of work. Today, a student must be a good reader in order to be a good math student. Keep in mind that third-graders are still learning to read. It is not until the fourth-grade that they really begin reading to learn.

  11. nita roberts says:

    i’m from ky just a teacher now – butmy daughter has moved to nyc so grandchildren could become an issue — i really wanted to say I AGREE 100000000000000000000000000%

  12. Thomas E. Allshouses says:

    Tom Allshouse,
    Common Core is utter nonsense. A one-size fits all approach to any situation is full hardy. This type of thinking will never allow our children to be educated successfull.

  13. Mary Holdren says:

    This letter is spot on. This is what I go through with my younger son Wyatt. My older son Zachery is picking it up and is better able to understand all this crap, but Wyatt is not and I’ve heard him say more times than I’d like that he’s dumb, that he stupid, that he can’t learn!

    • merg26@frontiernet.net says:

      I’m guessing that any pro-common Core people do not have children in school. I have been a bookkeeper all of my life, and my books always balanced. I never needed to spend hours doing it either. If that great math expert wants to do it, let him, and leave the rest of us alone!! Stop this nonsense..

  14. beth says:

    I listen to my daughters tell me often how “this friend stayed back” and “this other friend stayed back twice”. What is happening to their self esteem?? These children are being labeled stupid in elementary school. This is first to fifth grade! I’m shocked.

  15. eduJamesE says:

    I feel your pain. My perspective is a bit different, since I’m a teacher-educator and not a mom, but still pain-filled and frustrated. My perspective is here: http://wp.me/p3PKIK-a9

    • Emily says:

      I’m with you (and everyone who is against common core!) and I don’t even have children in the game. I do, however, care deeply about education and teaching students a love of learning along with thinking critically. Testing does not do that. Many people have test anxiety and cannot perform well under stress.

      CC is just another excuse to destroy education. I was so angry the other night when a K-12 teacher was describing it as “rigor” to make things more complicated. They really do not seem to know the meaning of the word. As teachers, we should be making what is complicated simple so that students can learn and learn well. Since when has complicating matters helped anything? Destroying natural ability is what this is doing. I could keep going, but I am preaching to the choir.

      We need to put education back into the hands of the professionals–TEACHERS. We put K-12 teachers, especially, through so much training and testing only to tie their hands with dictating how they teach. It is madness.

  16. susan says:

    As a private speech therapist, I ended up working with many children on their math homework. Why? Because even though they could do the math, they could not understand the inferences or language in the problems (I am talking 3rd – 5th grade). Parents thought I was the best thing ever since I could show them (and their children), that their children were good at math, just bad at common core.

  17. Amy K says:

    I teach in Arizona. I moved to a school district so obsessed w common core. Nazi academic coaches email elaborate ,overarching ” intervention lesson plans” in English Language Arts to we teachers at 430 a.m, on Saturdays. True storyThis is in addition to six subjects taught, with zero prep time. Prep time is now ” academic coaches lecturing experienced teachers time”. I had five highly recommended letters to teach ,and this school put me in urgent care within six weeks hooked to an EKG machine. Highly recommended, highly competent teacher, with zero time to teach finally had to ask doctor for help. Doctor said severe work induced anxiety and exhaustion. Doctors next reply: you are done. Leave that school. I am a healthy , well rounded teacher who had ZERO time to plan, ZERO tone to actually teach? and ZERO input in what took place in my own class.

  18. Lindsay says:

    My oldest, a very outgoing boy with slightly above average cognitive skills, has just started public preschool. He’s always had an easy time forming connections and building on the knowledge he already has, but also a fairly inflexible viewpoint on a lot of these things. He loves school at this level, and has always loved the learning he does out in the real world (the colors of cars, the number of items in a grocery cart, how family members are related, etc.). I’m absolutely terrified that his future teachers will be stripped of the ability to teach him in a way that makes sense to him. As a teacher myself with over a decade of professional experience at the infant/toddler level, I know that there are infinite roads to the same goal, and you ABSOLUTELY must respect the way each child needs to get there. You cannot succeed any other way.

  19. Charlemagne says:

    Dear Mrs. Momblog,
    I am a high school teacher and an adjunct college professor. I am married with 4 children. If I wasn’t, I would propose to you. We need more people like you. Keep it up. We need to get the politicians out of the classroom and allow the parents and teachers to decide what is best for kids.

  20. sandra says:

    This is a long read but how you describe your child getting angry about school work and growing a dislike for school is what I am starting to see in my child. I AM VERY CONCERNED. He is 7 and in the 1st grade. He loves school but talks about the “hurried” learning as “very frustrating”. He has to work to a timer that, once time is up, does not allow this creative child, or others, to finish the work. It is then sent home marked “unfinished” and he is tagged as having “failed”. So…what is this really teaching students, how to learn and love it or how to either beat the clock or be marked a failure? He verbalizes this at home with great disappointment, calling himself “stupid”. This is creating a home-front battle against his negative impression on learning, school, and himself. This is what common core is doing to my child.

    He loves to read, and does so above grade level and spends a lot of time reading at home(at home he reads chapter books and a variety of science books). He loves to learn, but loses interest when condemnation and time are involved. How is a love of learning being instilled in children when the fun is replaced with rushing kids through the work, imposing a time limit, and letting them feel they failed because it was not completed “on time”…making time the most important element. The other issue is that my child very quickly grasps how to do something, such as math, and once he gets it, he is ready to move on…like we did when I was in elementary school. No, he is doing the same thing over and over, and as he says, “I am board with this, why do I have to keep doing the same thing over and over?”. Let him move on…keep challenging him…Right now, I have to supplement teach at home the next level and concepts so he keeps his “learning smile” and thinks it is cool when he learns something new. If I could afford to home school, I would. Perhaps in 2 to 3 years but I think I need a solution sooner than later before it is too late.

  21. Amy crawford says:

    This is the best thing I have ever read!!!! Not that this will make it ant better, but my mide schooler is coming home with the same feelings!!! She is having such a hard time in her algebra class and she has never had trouble before. The majority of students in this class are having such a hard time and parents are like, what do we do???? We were told to consider a tutor? I shouldn’t have to get a tutor, something is wrong with this. The people implementing it have probably never taught a day in a class room!!!!😡😡😡😡

  22. Alison says:

    Oh the horrors on CC. My children are daylight and dark when it comes to learning and thinking style. One thinks very black and white. He knows the answer but has difficulty explaining. Thus making it difficult to think abstract. The other is very creative and can think abstract but has went from an A/B student to a B/C student from the end of 1st to the beginning of 2nd. On NWEA he always tested above benchmark and this year he is testing very low. He is moody and unhappy. For these reasons, as well as a few others, we are seriously considering home school. CC is ridiculous. When college educated parents look at their children’s homework thinking “WTH” we have a problem.

  23. Jeremiah says:

    Has anyone asked that maybe Common Core is accomplishing it’s goal? They claim they are creating standards to make sure your young student will be ready for college. In the mean time, colleges are complaining that there are less qualified students to accept. Well, if you make every student equally stupid, or I should say, equally poorly educated, then the curve goes down and everyone is qualified to put themselves in debt slavery with student loans. Oh wait, colleges are “Institutions of Higher Learning”, and not large corporations. They only charge what they need to operate, and only accept those who are qualified and likely to graduate (I believe it is under 60%).

    • Ralf M. Trusty says:

      Colleges have become major businesses in tandem with student loan agencies to make money. I would say that tuition and other increases are well above keeping up with the inflation rate, well beyond that magic “break even” mark. College sports generate a lot of money for colleges, so why are all these rates going up?
      The other thing I have noticed, too, is that more and more colleges require more and more students to take “remedial” courses when students enter college to make them ready to take actual college classes. I don’t believe that our students have become that ignorant and stupid in learning..unless, of course, things like standardized testing and common core is leading us to all of this.
      On another thought level: have you ever wondered who really benefits from all these “new” concepts in education and colleges requiring students to take more “entry-level” courses? Tow words: publishers and colleges! Need I say more?

  24. Clara says:

    Sheesh. I’m definitely homeschooling if they use words like ‘boughten’ in the curriculum. And they expect children to learn when they can’t even use correct language themselves? Yikes.

    • elizabeth says:

      Boughton is mile, wait…there are a lot of made up math words as well. They are rewriting American History, telling our 5-10 year olds about war, teaching socialism, and In our school they make a boy with a prosthetic run the pacers in gym. Are we having fun yet?!

  25. Mrs Momblog says:

    Please read my latest post. It addresses this. I do know the standards are not the curriculum but why is this new curriculum here? Common core.

  26. Difchar says:

    Do NOT know nursery rhymes that should have said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s