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 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. 


Mrs. Momblog

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About Mrs Momblog

Mom of 3, wife of 1, teacher of 103. Sarcastic always.
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1,616 Responses to How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child

  1. This curriculum is rotten to the “core”.

  2. KC Schnitker says:

    You have just let them know that they are accomplishing their goal- dumbing down America. They will look at your letter as a pat on the back. Sickening isn’t it? What are we going to do about this America?

    • ssikes1 says:

      Homeschool. It saved my kids. It saved my sanity.

      • elizabeth says:

        I think we are going to do that. I wonder what excuse will be made by the gov. to control that aspect of learning in the future.

      • AnotherAnnie says:

        Me too – and my children are flourishing! They were a little apprehensive when we withdrew them from school, but they love how at home our focus is on learning – and developing a love of learning. In public school, every moment of the day was planned around assessment. My kids started hating school! This is my second year homeschooling my teenage daughter, and the first year with my elementary school kids. We will never go back.

      • elizabeth says:

        well we have done it, we are homeschooling after the holidays. After 3 months of nightmares, sleep walking, refusing to go to bed alone,backache, headache, sore throat, nausea, leg pain and any ailment an 8 year old could experience, we decided to pull our child. She urinated herself twice during exams and we can not do this anymore. So Jan 6th is our first home school day. In the meantime, I continue to write Senators Assemblyman and anyone political that will listen. I will fight this fight. Mr. King resign.

      • ssikes1 says:

        Our commitment was to homseschool the kids until it didn’t feel right. Every year we had a discussion with the kids. Every year we all agreed it was still right. Finally at high school age I asked were they SURE they didn’t want to experience high school? My son just looked at me like it had to be a joke and he wasn’t sure what the punch line was. My daughter said,” Why would I want to get up before the sun does, force myself to follow someone else’s schedule, and worry about grades?” Instead she did her last two years in Community College and was awarded a full tuition scholarship for her first semester following. My son owns his own business in tech and IT. My daughter is a manager of a retail store ranked in the top 300 of over 6000 world wide, and it has been since she took it over 3 years ago. It’s amazing what they can do when you give them the reins and become the advocate and suggester, or door opener! Quite frankly it becomes very hard to keep up, they take off so fast.

      • Did you do the homeschooling yourself? I would love to homeschool my grandchildren, but don’t know if I am qualified enough to do it. What credentials do you need to homeschool?

      • jacob says:

        You don’t need credentials, just patience with your child, a computer with a good connection, the willingness to connect with other homeschoolers, the willingness to take the time to go to museums and field trip venues, and a good program. I suggest Abeka Academy at which has a video program that comes complete with a teacher, text books, tests, a schedule, and a parent/teacher manual. You send in your child’s work back in pre addressed envelopes, and they grade it for you while providing you with report cards and a transcript. It has a very aggressive math program that has our third grader doing long division and equasions. It costs around 800 dollars for the whole year and they take monthly payments.

      • Candace Crider says:

        You do not need any credentials to home school, just a willingness to help. There are a lot of curriculum sites so it is a good idea to find a homeschooling network near you and get their recommendations – you will also get help from them on what your state’s regulations are.

      • elizabeth says:

        Beverly all you need is love and patients. There are who curriculum’s at Borders Book store. Ask around for home school groups in your area and get the IHIP forms from you local school. They will guide you.

    • Vicki says:

      you hit it on the head!! Numbers….it takes numbers…..a ten million+ persons march on Washington perhaps?? Burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the problem doesn’t do it and we can’t afford to let someone else do it for us because “we don’t have the time” We are all busy and plays right into that hand!

  3. Kavita Rawat says:

    I can feel the same after studying in a B school that I am dumb

  4. Rick says:

    Well done and stay strong! YOU get it!
    You should send this in to all the NY papers as an op/ed piece!

  5. lensgirl53 says:

    Here is a lengthy but informative piece explaining what is really behind the Common Core and how it came to be…..May God be with us.

    • mkisliuk says:

      That website is bogus. The problems with Common Core began with Bush’s so-called “no child left behind” initiative, which is now coming home to roost. The Obama admin is trying to shift the focus more toward critical thinking, but the out of control and mindless testing is what has become established now. “Race to the top” is also a problem. Please don’t turn this into a ridiculous, partisan, anti-Obama witch hunt. It has nothing to do with that, and people within all points of view in the political spectrum are unhappy with our public schools. This kind of web site just deflects us from the discussion and protest that really needs to take place! We all deserve creative, nurturing, thinking public school environments for our children!

    • mkisliuk says:

      Informative? You’ve go to be kidding. Websites like this function as a “Tea Party” style smokescreen for the actual corporate interests that are harming our children for the sake of profit (e.g. testing service companies and ALEC interests) who do not want our children (or their teachers) thinking for themselves, who prefer the children see themselves as “dumb” so that they can be manipulated in the future…. and keep teachers worried about losing their jobs instead of using the freedom they should have to be creative and tailor their teaching to their actual students — What used to be America’s strength — our public school system — is at risk because of the fear-mongering smokescreen that the US is somehow behind in STEM… NOT TRUE! The roots of all of this were in the so-called “no child left behind” now coming home to roost, for the profit of corporations, not the public…. This must be changed. The “common core” claims to be shifting toward critical thinking rather than testing, but the tide has not changed and there are plenty of powerful interests who do not want it to change. That’s where efforts to uncover what’s going on need to focus.

      • You think common core dumbing down kids is the result of some corporate interest? It’s the self-loathing and self-hatred of Democrats expressing itself in public school policy.

        What interest would business have in completely crushing a child’s ability to think freely, put in left-wing propaganda (such as a math paper on the distributive property that’s entitled “Distribute The Wealth”), put in Pro-Islamic propaganda and anti-Founding-Father propaganda, and overall crush the child’s spirit and make them feel useless? Businesses -want- people who can think for themselves, because people who know how to think have more value to offer in the workplace.

        It’s left-wingers who have an interest in all those nasty things. Because they’re nasty people. They want to crush the mind of a child because they need voters. They want to teach children that Islam and Pedophilia are great, because they’re moral relativists. They want to crush the child’s soul so they become Democrat voters who depend on the government to live.

        They want to crush the child’s self esteem because you can’t rule over proud people.

        It’s an insult to the human race to act like this is some scheme for companies to make a profit. No human pursuing the profit motive could conceive of something disgusting like common core. No human pursuing the profit motive could have anything long term to gain from the complete destruction of our future generations.

        Some men just want to watch the world burn. And that’s the kind of men that designed common core.

      • Mrs Momblog says:

        Steve, I’m sorry you feel that left wingers are “nasty people” because you are commenting on a left-wingers blog right now.

      • jacob says:

        The problem is that those at the helm of businesses are of a new generation of business school graduates taught by liberal professors the doctrine of Keynes and Marx like no generations before. Look at the commercials lately coming out of the business world. It’s full of socialist pap that we used to be able to shrug off as pandering to the great unshaven, but it’s abundantly clear at this point that those who are making the marketing decisions are true believers. James Taggart is the new model CEO, and big business is now leaning left.

  6. Guy says:

    So because your kid is struggling this becomes your proof that common core is bad?

    • ssikes1 says:

      Guy, I think you just proved her point. Your comment implies that we should expect all kids to learn the same things in the same way at the same time. Last I checked, we were still all individuals and have different abilities, interests, pacing, and personalities. Different kids have different talents, learning styles, development, passions…the list can go on for a long time. The same is true of adults.

      Unless you are willing to give up your individuality, you can’t expect the next generation of children to do so, or their parents to accept it. Expecting all kids to develop according to one set of guidelines, while maintaining your own right to individuality is hypocrisy.

      Her point (as I read it) is that she has two very different kids. One of them is doing ok with Common Core, my guess is that he’d do even better with more individualized teaching. Her younger child, however, is not fitting into the Common Core mold. He is a square peg being forced into a round hole. Forcing him to fit will eventually grind down his natural personality and abilities and created a miserable automaton. Great for a government that needs robots. Not so good for a country that thrives on creativity and leading edge technology.

      Susan Sikes – A Wealth of Parenting

    • Jacob says:

      Seems as if thou hast boughten into the into the talking points of Arne Duncan, Guy.

  7. Candac Groth says:

    I WAS a special education teacher of autistic students for over 20 years in the Illinois public schools. Do you know that even students who cannot verbally communicate or take care of their basic needs are still expected to be taught and “assessed” on common core concepts at their age grade level (not cognitive level). For the most part, the assessments are completely meaningless for the student and a loss of valuable preparation time for the teacher.

    A basic flaw in the common core is that ALL STUDENTS do not have college aspirations. Not all people are academically proficient, but many have equally valuable gifts and abilities that contribute to society that do not require college. We are devaluing those people.
    Have you taken any higher level college classes lately? Have you noticed that they are no longer about integrating what you know and assimilating it into your repertoire of knowledge, but it more represents a repetition of what you have read and what the “data” so far proves (be it 50% accurate or less- bad data is better than no data or years of experience!!!) Papers are not to reflect your opinion at any time only the “experts” results. Independent thinking is frowned upon at all levels of education now. Sound Educational knowledge is ignored for political agenda.

  8. As Clinton was wont to say, “I feel your pain”. (How’s that for archaic?)
    In Louisiana, we know Indoctrination when we see it.
    So I created a web-site…
    The Fight for Freedom Never Stops.

  9. ssikes1 says:

    Reblogged this on A Wealth of Parenting and commented:
    This blog is by a woman who is a public school educator as well as a parent. Since we are all in the middle of the Common Core educational travesty in one way or another, I thought I’d borrow her very well written commentary on both parenting and educating in this system. I’ll have other things to say on it later, but I didn’t want you to miss this.

  10. Lisa says:

    The bad situation with the “common core” gets worse…

    In NYC, most students are not “zoned” for middle school or high school. Instead, we shop around for “good-fit” schools. Many selective schools use NY State tests to screen applicants. This is all in the spirit of “choice.” Like it or not, it is what it is.

    It is truly UNCONSCIONABLE, however, that the most academically selective schools are using an exam that is pedagogically and statistically invalid to assess students!

    I cannot sit idly by when something is so very, VERY wrong, especially when our children are involved…. so I created a PETITION on

    Please read my petition, sign it, and forward it to your friends, contacts and on-line communities.

    Please also help me compile a list of schools that are in agreement with this petition.

    If everyone pushes back, even just a little, we can and will change things for the better!

  11. George says:

    Your letter should not be to New York but to the White House and your union. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Race to the Top competitive grants on July 24, 2009, as a motivator for education reform. To be eligible, states had to adopt “internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the work place.” This meant that in order for a state to be eligible for these grants, the states had to adopt the Common Core State Standards or a similar career and college readiness curriculum.

    Your teacher’s union has supported Barack Obama at every point of his candidacy and presidency. Speak to your union. They brought this upon you and your children.

    • Ralf M. Trusty says:

      George – here in Missouri our education commissioner Nicastro pushed her agenda past all our education associations – 3 of them to be exact. She is a champion of “Race to the Trough” …my association, MSTA – Missouri State Teacher Association, not only REFUSED her request for “Top 10 by 2020″, but came out in OPPOSITION of her plan. Never-the-less, she got our state board of education to sign off on the waivers and strings attached to implement the “Common Core” without input from teachers and schools – we just are expected to swallow all of this and live happily ever-after…NOT!!!
      All the states should have just let NCLB die its death and picked up from there…instead, strong-arm tactics from the federal education community (who have no idea what education is really about) and state officials who have bought into it and are pursuing their personal agenda…last, and definitely not least, let us all thank Bill Gates and his cronies for starting this disaster to begin with.

      • Sarah says:

        Welcome to the world of bigger government is better. I don’t know why people are surprised, this is what Obama and his administration have wanted the whole time. I hope you vote against it in the next election. And cronyism but they are all guilty of that, I don’t know if we can vote that out ;(

  12. Amy says:

    Wonderful blog. We live in North Carolina and they recently implemented Common Core. My previously school loving, straight A daughter who like to read, fence and see her friends is now struggling to stay afloat in Common Core Math (supposed to be Geometry?). She gets D’s and F’s on all the tests and quizzes, doesn’t think she is good at all in Math (or anything for that matter), has quit fencing (too much homework and studying for test, quizzes and Benchmarks every week!) and doesn’t like Math or school at all anymore. How sad that learning has becoming a chore and not something that is enjoyable. I am still trying to figure out if it is the Curriculum itself, my daughter (she seems to understand the material and homework), the teacher or something else? Any help would be appreciated!

    • Anne says:

      Okay, watch this one and pass around. It fits the Common Core perfectly.
      And, Amy, it’s not the teacher. The teacher is being forced to do what comes down from the superintendent in the district. The teacher’s hands are tied. I know. I was one for 32 years. Not any more.

  13. This is a powerful story, I hope things get better for your sons, or that the system is fixed. Not having children I am not aware of the full extent of these changes, but after reading up a bit, it seems to me if this is around when I do finally have kids, we may not be living in the U.S.

  14. We are homeschooling this year, so far my kids are starting to like school again. I like to call it Common Crap, because that is what it is.

  15. ocdjm says:

    This is why I am teaching in a charter school. I have as much flexibility with my lessons as needed. I have to cover the material common crud says to but I can do it my way. After 13 years in public schools dealing with NCLB, endless consultants, removal of tenure, hellish evaluations, endless testing,paperwork galore, Race to the Top, now common crud w/ its consulants; I got out. I’ll never go back. I would rather be a security guard than deal with public schools ever again.

  16. Cassandra Miller says:

    Common Core is breaking my beautiful daughter down. I can’t stand seeing her feel defeated, she’s 6 years old!! I will fight this as long as is needed!!!

    • Anne says:

      Okay, watch this one and pass around. It fits the Common Core perfectly.

    • Casmicha says:

      I know the feeling.. I don’t have a problem with critical thinking but not for K-3 graders. My daughter is in the 1st grade. She was getting 3s on her progress reports and reports cards. Now she receives 1s. She comes home everyday with a different story to tell, not wanting to go to school because she is getting answers wrong, not having enough time to finish her work, and how bad she doesn’t want to go to school. It use to take us 30 minutes to do homework but now it has gone to 1-1.5 hour to do homework. Don’t get me wrong she has a wonderful teacher but the her Teacher can only do so much because she has Common Core to go by. The Teacher is in workshops 2-3 days a week, Teacher Assistant is divided between 2 classrooms, and almost a different Substitute Teacher every week. Her Teacher told us back in Oct that things were going to change due to Common Core and she would try her best to help us to understand it (she said this is new to her just as well as it is to us). if my daughter is tested on what she learned that day she gets 100. Then on Friday when they take a test for what they learned the whole week is gets 1s. She says Mommy I’m so confused on what I learned to I just feel like giving up. It’s a shame that kids are struggle and hating to go to school because of a decision that someone has made that doesn’t work in school system and wanting our kids to be like some other country or robots.

  17. Love your post!! Im with you- follow me for some updates on NYSED Core and Data Mining issues!

  18. Pat Merklinger says:

    It’s time to go back to the one room school where they hear the subject repeated many times during the day and learn from it. Not just a breeze through.

  19. fumetti2011 says:

    This “mom” should give the kid tests SHE took at the same exact age and see if her “reading loving kid” can pass them. This is the point: today’s “brilliant” kids would be considered average 30 years ago. FACT. I have seen “award winning” essays by teens that would have been jettisoned by MY teachers years ago for being trite and carrying on with cliches like starting an essay with a dictionary definition. It is all crap. I don’t care, most parents have their heads up their ass when it comes to school. Kids are lazy and depend on computers and cannot think critically anymore. But hey spoiled them with a smartphone because darling Tyler got a B in math!

    • Mrs Momblog says:

      This “mom” is me, and I happen to be a damn good one. I’m not expecting my son to get all A’s. I’m not saying he is brilliant. Does an 8 year old need to be brilliant to enjoy reading anyway? What I DON’T need is for him to have a simple math problem take 12 extra steps because of new common core has created a new ‘rigorous’ math curriculum. I don’t need him to feel stupid because he got the correct answer one way but not the other two. And I don’t need you assuming things about me.

      • clm says:

        Mrs. Mom,
        Thank you for your time to address this issue in a post. I sincerely hope that it reaches the ears of the people who make these stupid decisions. I am not a teacher and I do not have children of my own, however, I have watched my 12 nieces & nephews (there are more just not school age yet) grow to teens and adults since I was a teen myself. We had our own educational standards to adhere to when I was growing up. I was a horrible test taker and if you look at my Regents exams, SAT’s & ACT’s from the mid-1990′s many people would assume I was a slacker or dunce. However, I have a Master’s degree.

        You are so right about the difference in the way children/teens/adults learn. When I was in 5th grade I was in an advanced class called the explorers. One day I overheard my teacher tell my classroom teacher I wasn’t smart enough to remain in the advanced class. Ironically, after that, I was always in advanced classes. I had to study harder and more intensely than some others, like my older sister, and my grades weren’t always what I expected.

        It is ok to hold students to certain standards, we were, our parents were. It is ok to hold teachers to certain standards also. The difference now is that teachers are told to educate for the standardized test and not for life. We had standardized tests too. But teachers were able to teach for the test while teaching a thought provoking curriculum in a creative way that would reach as many students as possible.

        What we as a society need to communicate to the people in charge is that, sometimes you need to leave well enough alone. Sure our educational system needed an update to keep up. Our children are failing not because they are stupid but because we have set precedents that are unattainable and ridiculous, thus making smart children/teens feel like they are below average (dumb). Our children and teachers are failing not because teachers do not teach but because society and the educational system is failing them. Many children are less disciplined than we were. Because of this, teachers have to spend more time keeping everyone on task instead of actually being able to creatively teach the students. Don’t get me wrong, we had our fair share of disruptive peers, but the difference is our peers knew how to stop and listen when told to. Many children don’t have stable home lives or supportive families/guardians that give a damn. Children, like all types of animals and vegetation, need support and discipline to thrive; without, they wither and die (it does take a village).

        Yes, it is good to have standards; good to have goals. But they have to be realistic. Yes, we should set the bar high because our students are worth it; expect greatness (in whatever way each person can be). NO STUDENT should ever feel unworthy of him/herself. That is no way to build esteem or to empower them to greatness. By dumbing down the curriculum and teaching out dated information, we cannot achieve this. I cannot tell you how often I have read the phrase (or something similar) in college/university mission statements: “…to prepare our students to be successful members of society and critical thinkers…”. Without the foundations in elementary and secondary education, how can we expect our students to fulfill these mission statements at the collegiate level?

        The new “common core” is not what the old common core was; not even close. And change starts with us.

      • Anne says:

        Great reply!

      • Robin Kaser says:

        I totally agree with you MrsMomblog. My granddaughter lives in texas and they have their own version of common core. Every math and reading problem has 4 different parts .You have 25 questions with 4 parts that all have the same answer , just different ways to get that answer , if you get one part wrong the whole answer is wrong. If you miss 3 questions you have actually missed 12 and there goes your grade. It is very disheartening to the children who are being taught this way.

      • elizabeth says:

        I thought Texas was non-common core, we were thinking of fleeing there.

  20. schoolgal says:

    Excellent commentary, and you are not the only parent/teacher to see this. Then again, in NYC we have 30+ students in a class so it’s really a stressful situation for students, teachers and parents.

  21. Pingback: More on Common Core (and our Board Of Education has interacted with the public on this? NOT!) « REGION ONE REPORT

  22. Amen sister! Where is the love of learning?

  23. Teresa chudy says:

    I too am an educator;an 8th grade math teacher teaching 8th grade math, pap algebra I, and pap geometry. At first I was excited…omg, they’re going to stop giving them calculators in the 3rd grade, so now they will understand the connections in later math!!! Now I’m sick and tired. Not only do they expect those same kids who have been raised on calculators to immediately give them up, but we educators are expected to put on dog and pony shows in order to compete with dvd’s, tv, computers, and iPhones! My question is, “What happens when that child grows up and finds his job doesn’t stimulate as a dog and pony show? What happens when he/she is expected to sit quietly and listen during a meeting? Why r we trying to compete with all that stimuli? And I also know of educator parents who are irate with how their normally high achieving elementary school children are now feeling dumb due to the common core curriculum/assessments. They are pulling their children out and enrolling them in private schools. I don’t blame them; my daughter attends private school; no common core. So many struggled BEFORE common core, but now it’s even worse! I spend 10 to 13 hrs at school each day. Why do people think teaching is an easy job?

    • elizabeth says:

      Teaching is far from easy….I have substituted and a day or two is exhausting. As far as testing, I have had to tell my children that I don’t care if they fail the test. What message am I sending my children?! But, if I don’t, they will melt down and be abused by the system yet again. Our private schools have informed me that they are required to teach the common core and I do not understand how that occurs. I thought they were separate. I have to do some investigating and see how and why. This system needs to go so our teachers can get back to teaching instead of pleasing the government. Our parents that aren’t involved with their kids need to start making them do the work and attending school. I think that would be a good start to improving our education and making our kids college ready.

      • Anne says:

        My grandchildren are attending Catholic school. I thought at first they would be protected from CC, but now I find out that all schools are using it. I’m thoroughly disgusted. From what I understand, children will have to use this because the ACT and SAT will use testing that is tailored from the Common Core.

      • Sarah says: This young man sounds well educated for a public school kid taught by bad teachers in a broken system. Just saying.

      • elizabeth says:

        Anne, we were considering home school….what happens to them then? Is this what we are headed to,being forced to give our children controlled abusive substandard education no matter what we try?

      • Anne says:

        One big problem that people get confused on is the difference between the CC STANDARDS and CURRICULUM. The curriculum is up to the local school boards. The standards are a set group of standards set across the US. The problem I have with it, as I am retired after 32 years, is that CC was thrust upon students rather than being phased in…one grade level at a time. My second graders were forced to learn 3rd grade material. 1st grade had to learn 2nd grade material. That was the biggest mistake they made. That’s why children were doing poorly in school. The material was TOO HARD!
        Another problem I have with it is that according to Glenn Beck on The Blaze, it originated with the infamous Bill Ayers and the Gates Foundation. Then, along with Obama’s Race to the Top, it all got mixed together.
        I, along with all the other teachers, knew zip, zero, zilch about CC until the first day teachers came to school. We had NO materials. We got ALL our materials from teacher web sites and if we were lucky from a few CC workbooks. We were trained in 2 days, and then we were thrown to the wolves. Of course, there was ongoing training, but we really had no preparation. So many teachers I know are retiring or quitting…great teachers. What a shame!
        Again, it’s important not to get mixed up between standards and curriculum.
        Watch carefully what your children will be learning in social studies with the new CC textbooks that will be coming out. We had to teach 50% fiction and 50% non-fiction. There’s a move away against good literary works… big mistake. Read about it. Learn what’s going on. Most of all, watch for any kind of socialist material they learn, especially in social studies. The books and papers sent home can be very subtle. Read between the lines, parents.
        And, from what I hear, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but the ACT and SAT will come from CC material and strategies.

      • Sarah says:

        I would *think* that a well-educated child could manage to handle the same material at the SAT/ACT level that a Common Core educated child could, even if they were taught a different method. I mean, you’ve got “old math” and “new math,” but when it comes to the SAT, where you just have to answer with multiple choice and get the right answer. Sure, they might have questions that tend to cover the topics that Common Core covers, and maybe that require the kind of thinking that Common Core is supposed to be teaching, but given that public schools can’t seem to educate kids adequately anyway, I’d think that a homeschooler could do well enough on the SAT without having specifically used Common Core to get into college.

      • elizabeth says:

        Our school is using the cc curriculum off engageny book by book. I was told that this was mandatory and have found that this is not so. I feel so lied to. Lots of Talibain readings in detail with folk are pics. My daughter has asked if her father will be taken away and if she is safe. having nightmares sleepwalking and asking people to sleep with her. Then they taught her about death and dying in a hospital. She is in 3rd grade. The month of Oct and Nov so far have been horrible and we are seeing a lot of socialist material come through. I think that is all the plan to desensitize and under-educate our kids in the American History so they become socialist as adults. What a shame. I am pretty sure but not positive that the SATs and ACTs won’t be looked at in the future by colleges but the ones the military take will be. I am sorry I can’t remember what they are called. I had this discussion today with a Vet I know who has young kids and is pulling her children from school because of the cc. I know that the SAT and ACT are contracted out and not even developed by educators. All I know I am beside myself. I too know many good teacher retiring asap and can’t stand what is being taught. Young teachers and fear that this is going to be the norm and not the exception. I feel for the teachers. They have been thrown to the wolves so much so, I fear, that self-preservation will set in as they need to feed their families and will do what it takes to get along in this crazy system even at the expense of the kids. I wonder how much Bill Ayers and The Gates Foundation is making on this mess. I am not sure I am making sense here due to the layers of junk. I hope so.

      • Anne says:
        Check this out from Louisiana schools.

  24. Sarah says: This young man sounds well educated for a public school kid taught by bad teachers in a broken system. I think they’re are focusing on the wrong fixes…

  25. Anne says:

    It’s not the material, Sarah, it’s the strategies that are taught in CC. The SAT and ACT will ask different TYPE questions. Tests today are more focused on explaining strategies used, not just multiple choice.

    • Christie says:

      Just as people are upset that this ” New way” is making children feel bad, I see other students soaring. When I was in school in the 80′s/90′s, you knew the answers…done case closed. There really wasn’t must room to think outside the box in most classrooms. If I had been in a class like I teach now, then I would have been an A math student not a C student. I think the problems really are in how some districts are rolling out common core not the standards themselves.

  26. Melanie says:

    It’s interesting that the CCSS has been interpreted to be a national curriculum instead of state adopted (with some level of coercion) standards. Additionally, if you read the front matter of the standards documents you will see the standards were written with the intent of teachers having maximum control on how to teach their students in order to meet the standards (pp. 3-6, I believe). Modules, curriculum guides, pacing plans, required texts…all of these are choices made at the district level (or school). Outrage directed at the federal level is wasted. The better strategy would be for teachers and parents to organize at the local level to change the way the standards are being implemented. The standards aren’t going anywhere, and frankly, most of the ELA (sorry, I haven’t studied the math standards) are good, though there will no doubt be modification and revision to some that aren’t so great (for example, some standards do not progress consistently through the grades).
    Teachers are professional experts when it comes to teaching and learning and should use their collective power to stop nonsensical implementation in their districts. Simply protesting standards that (for many politically motivated reasons) are not going away (at least for the time being—standards typically last about 6-7 years on average) is not the right way to affect change. Read the front matter of the standards documents. Those pages can arm you with the information you need to make changes at the local level.

    • Christie says:

      Great points!

      • elizabeth says:

        the Common Core is the Fed. Gov. way of bribing states to adopt Nationalized Education which is illegal and unconstitutional. It is the move toward Socialism/Communism. Hitler did the same thing. Buyer beware. The only way to change it or rescind it is to pull the kids out, so schools lose their funding. The more this occurs the bigger the protest. In fact, I believe that Public School enrollment is going down, Private, Parochial and Home School is on the rise. My 8 year old has nightmares since the end of Sept. and has urinated herself twice in school. Never happened before. We are pulling her and home schooling her. This is nothing but global abuse to the Country and our Children. In fact….its Terrorism at our school levels.

  27. susankier says:

    I had to look up what Common Core was (and I was in a secondary teaching program just a year or so ago). I didn’t go into teaching because I knew I would have problems with public system policies and politics, but i have noticed my third grader being tested on material before he is taught it (ie: spelling words) which makes him feel stupid–he tells me he’s not smart when he excels at math and science. Education definitely needs a new perspective–and funding I might add. This country needs a new perspective.

  28. Jennifer says:


  29. Jennie says:

    AMEN!!! Grade school used to be a fun place to learn! Our 4th grader is using variables and writing formulas and solving formulas! She does great because she is wired that way, but I can tell you firsthand that many other children are not, and they are discouraged. Of course we all want our children to be challenged, but the fun is gone. These people who decide what and how our children should learn need to spend more time teaching in the classroom!

    • elizabeth says:


    • Ralf Trusty says:

      Challenging children is one thing – there are many, many different avenues to accomplish that; however, when we “challenge” kids to think on higher levels and to “do” more then they’re developmentally ready for, we destroy the natural curiosity and joy of wanting to learn. Why? Because the majority of students (dare I say, “all of them”?) will experience failure over and over and over again, and decide that it’s not worth feeling frustrated and failing on a consistent basis (even adults do not like to feel that way) and quit trying. So instead of “producing higher-level thinking” students, we (namely the “education experts” – people who think they know how education works, but know squat about it, and society, in general, for allowing it to happen) create an environment that produces two things: 1) students who give up, and 2) educators who feel forced to “teach to a certain test standard” and, eventually, feel compelled to cheat in order to hit those “test standards” so they may keep their job (Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., schools come to mind here).
      The catch phrase “data-driven education process” is a bunch of crock…I have been teaching for 32 years in elementary settings (18 years in 5th grade, 14 years in K & 1st grade) and I have kept my own “data” all those years. Data on objectives that told me which skill objectives my kids (I’ve always called my students that) were able to pass and apply in future settings and which objectives they needed to have retaught or modified in order for them to succeed (I used to have time to do exactly that; however, the “compacted” curriculum and the amount of material that I am compelled to teach now, has prevented me from doing that).
      It’s time for parents to go to their local school boards, state legislators, and federal legislators, to let them know what they want for their child(ren)’s education…not some beaurocrat bean counter who knows nothing about education and only listens to a lobbyist for the profit-oriented, private-school pushing groups. Enough said at this point.

  30. CJ says:

    So if I’m reading you right, you argue that your child should get A+’s no matter what result he actually got in order to increase his confidence which is the only thing he needs to become Bono?

  31. denzil says:

    You are right. One size does not fit all. But this is the way the system is going. As parents the best thing we can do partners with our kid’s teachers. We have to keep track what our kids are doing in school on daily. The most important part of any school is still the teachers and parents.

  32. Ashley says:

    Hello Mrs. Momblog,
    Do you think I could talk to you for a radio series I’m working on regarding Common Core?
    Please, email me to let me know if you would be interested!

  33. Nicole says:

    Although I don’t approve of how the common core has been implemented AT ALL, I take major issue with your statement “our high school teachers signed up for this…. 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….” You claim to be a high school teacher, but you clearly don’t teach math, based on your later comment about not being able to multiply and divide on a schedule. Mrs. Mom, most students in high school STILL can’t multiply and divide, and at some point the line needs to be drawn. I am tired of being labeled an incompetent teacher because I can’t take a 17 year old who needs a calculator to multiply by 10 and turn them into an 18 year old with an A in precalculus, a 700 on their math SAT, and acceptance to the state university. These students were failed by elementary school and middle school teachers and the damage was long done by the time they got to high school. It’s time that ALL educators were held accountable, not just the ones at the end of the line.

    • Mrs Momblog says:

      Hi Nicole. Thanks for reading. I’m afraid I didn’t make that point very clear in my post–that is the statement that people have misconstrued the most. What I meant was not that we signed up for CC, but rather we know our role as a high school teacher is to ultimately prepare them for college. So while CCSS has been saying “college and career readiness”, we’ve already been doing that all along.
      That’s all. I didn’t mean that we signed up for all of the changes, or we signed up to implement CCSS. And no, I am by NO MEANS a math teacher! I teach English. Thanks for reading and I hope I cleared up some confusion.

  34. Wendy says:

    As an elementary educator and a mom, I agree with almost all you have written. That “high school teachers signed up for this” is a bit unfair. Everyone is getting the shaft with this system.

    • Mrs Momblog says:

      Hi Wendy. Thanks for reading. I just replied with this same comment to somebody who had the same concern as you. I’m afraid I didn’t make that point very clear in my post–that is the statement that people have misconstrued the most. What I meant was not that we signed up for CC, but rather we know our role as a high school teacher is to ultimately prepare them for college. So while CCSS has been saying “college and career readiness”, we’ve already been doing that all along.
      That’s all. I didn’t mean that we signed up for all of the changes, or we signed up to implement CCSS. Thanks for reading and I hope I cleared up some confusion.

  35. Joe says:

    I agree entirely, except I would change the phrase “a love of school” to a “love of learning”. Great article!

  36. Elizabeth says:

    I teach 5th grade Math, and I agree completely with everything you have to say. It’s disgusting how much of the joy has been ripped out of my classroom! The system is too rigid and focused on constant testing. You can call it an assessment, but itt still means that we have to test our kids all of the time. I love Math and I want my students to be able to find something that they enjoy about the subject, but I am never given the time. I am too busy shoving them through lessons so that we can cover everything that is going to be on the state test. Teaching is all I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s my only true passion in life. I want to inspire my kids!!!!! I can’t do this when I am forced to constantly test, test, test. No matter if they get As or Fs, a test can never inspire a student. The Common Core has broken my back and is ruining our public education.

  37. Becki says:

    Thank you for this. Reading it with tears in my eyes. I can only say I understand.

  38. Has anyone considered that it is not WHAT is being taught it is HOW it’s being taught. Assume Common Core is bringing students to the academic level that is grade appropriate and where students should be functioning and performing. If that is the case, then it would be the teacher’s responsibility to identify the students who were not proficient, differentiate instruction, refer that individual student for remedial services or intervention. From my perspective, it is not the Common Core that is the cookie cutter, it is the rigid implementation and/or the resistance of educators and administrators who frustrate and taint the process and make it miserable and reproachable with no consideration of how it impacts the children. At the end of the day, the American educational system IS broken. Something needs to be done and if not Common Core than what?

  39. Thjjk4 says:

    This blogger is an admitted Left-Winger…this is what you VOTED for why are you complaining now? This current admin was very, very clear in their desire to fundamentally change you and your family. Your vote brought us common core, congrats. Unfortunately your son is suffering. So sad.

    • Mrs Momblog says:

      The idea of a nationally aligned curriculum in theory, is great. All states on the same page. The implementation has been skewed. This isn’t a left/right debate. My vote did not create this mess. My views are more aligned with the left–it doesn’t mean I have to love or agree with every single thing that happens over the course of his presidency. Just like I have students who like my class–doesn’t mean they love it 100% of the time. Thanks for your comment, please continue to read.

  40. Brian Jacobson says:

    Ahhhhh good ol’ cookie cutter students !

  41. Jamadan says:

    Last summer, the Maryland State School Superintendent stated that Common Core has brought 6th grade math down into the 3rd grade . . . that explained the stress my 3rd grader was experiencing and why he started hating school so much. My wife and I decided to home school him this year and believe it’s the best decision we ever made. He’s flourishing under the Charlotte Mason based curriculum and loving learning again. I get daily 30 minute updates from him each evening when I come home as he tells me all about what he’s learned – this never happened in public school.

    I started digging into the Common Core to try to figure out what it was all about and why it had so transformed elementary education into a nightmare. Note that I’m focused on elementary as my high schooler is fine with it, in fact, it’s made things a little too easy to be honest. The tests aren’t challenging for him, but that’s another post.

    There’s a Washington Post reporter who’s been doing a bang-up job covering important issues involving Common Core. I’ll provide some links to key thoughts she’s reported on, but first a real math example that shows the difference in Common Core covering the same topic:

    2005 4th GRADE MATH PROBLEM (NY):
    Find the area of a rectangle by counting the number of squares needed to cover it (NYS Learning standard 4.G.4)

    Use tiling to show in a concrete case that the area of a rectangle with whole number side lengths a and b+c is the sum of a*c and b*c. Use area models to represent the distributive property in mathematical reasoning. (NYS Common Core 3 MD 7.C) Recognize area as additive. Find areas of rectilinear figures by decomposing them into non-overlapping rectangles and adding the areas of the non-overlapping parts, applying this technique to solve real world problems. ((NYS Common Core 3MD 7. D)

    Did you note not only the extreme differences in the difficulty of the questions, but that the first one was for 4th grade and the second, more difficult one, is for the 3rd grade.

    Quite simply, 3rd graders aren’t ready for those kind of complex, abstract math concepts. It puts stress on them they’re not ready to handle. See this statement from 500 leading pediatricians and early childhood educators who officially stated that these standards are not developmentally appropriate back in 2010 and asked governors across the US to reject them – (

    And here is an article that does a great job explaining this misalignment of the curriculum to the children’s developmental capabilities – [Why young kids are struggling with Common Core math –

    Now, after having worked with Common Core and gaining first hand experience, over 600,000 New York members of the teachers union has officially removed their support for it and are asking for it to be rejected –

    And finally, an article that details how this happened in the first place. Not one of the 135 members of the committee who created the Core for K-3 have a single hour of teaching in the classroom. They simply have no expertise in early childhood education. The company that Obama hired to implement Common Core was a nice contributor to his campaign, but not a qualified firm capable of advancing education in a way that will correct the deficiencies that we all recognize.

    I hope this provides some information that we can all support whether we’re liberal or conservative. We should all agree that this Common Core is something that needs to be reversed and NOW for the good of this generation of kids we’re putting at risk.

    Thank you.

  42. Susan says:

    My husband sent me this link today after I said I was going to write a blog to Arne Duncan about what is wrong with common core math. Thanks for writing this. We are feeling completely depressed about what is happening with our son who can do 3 2-digit math problems in his head but get confused by the often unclear or even silly ways they want him to draw the explanation. Several of the questions/problems my son has been given (our district uses Pearson which is used by a lot of districts) are poorly written, have incorrect English, or are just head-scratching even to an adult who loves math. One test question shows a piece of rope and asks what the width length is. I don’t know what a width length is. What a mess…

    • Mrs Momblog says:

      Susan, I agree. If you look through my blog, I wrote a post (an open letter to Arne Duncan) titled White Suburban Moms Unite–check if out! Thanks for the response. Hopefully with enough parental outcry this mess will turn around (hopefully…slowly…)

  43. DesertGuy says:

    I too am concerned. I have an engineering degree from MIT and a doctorate in clinical psychology. Educated and with long term careers in a couple fields, when I was a junior in high school in the 1960s the *new math* was introduced and it was terribly confusing. I learned the standard math and was OK. But there were things mathematicians from Berkeley thought it was a good idea for kids to learn that made no sense to me or my teachers. My next door neighbor who later had a distinguished career teaching at one of the Univ of Calif schools would come home crying because she didn’t understand her classwork or homework. She’d get As on exams because the teacher would give problems the kids could understand then the same day being crying over things presented she couldnt understand. For decades new things are introduced to make education “better” and it isnt. Teachers, parents, and kids have not been happy for decades and now I hear the same from you parents of young children. Why can’t America get this right?

  44. Jenny Rogers says:

    Thank you so much for posting this blog about the common core and what it is doing to our kids. I, too, am a teacher and do not like what it is doing to my students. But, this very week I have had to deal with a daughter in tears who is beginning to hate school because of all the requirements it is putting on her all due to the common core. I so wish we could do away with the common core and go back to the way things were. I guess I am old school, but kids did learn and are now productive citizens of society.

  45. Kris says:

    Omg- you just explained exactly what my 3rd grader is going through and feeling. He tells me he is dumb, that he hates school & his teacher. He used to love school. So sad- this common core is a disaster!

  46. beth says:

    I am also considering pulling my 2nd grader out of school before the end of the school year. He has been recommended for special ed, and is “testing” lower than the special ed students. I’ve been reassured that he will get extra help and be pushed through to 3rd grade if we consent to testing, which will pull him out of class. He was doing fine up until this school year. New school new method of learning/ teaching don’t know which is affecting him the most. But I do know the kids is bright, creative and loves to learn, so what is going on when all i get is negative feedback from the school? With the present curriculum, I don’t see how any of this will help. He’s distracted because he is thoroughly BORED, and thinks school is a joke! My daughter is catching up and in much better spirits about school since December, coming home hating school and life in general, saying she’s dumb and behind… That doesn’t make it any better when they’ve been studying the same math concepts in numerous ways ALL school year long…..Starting a new business and now considering pulling both kids from school for next year if this crap continues…

    • beth says:

      …. And I shared this on my fb because it directly reflects my experience as a parent with the Core, and TOO many others….

    • elizabeth says:

      beth, so sorry to hear about your struggles. It is a common theme with the common core. As I have stated earlier on the blog, we too have had to pull our 3rd grader due to the trauma cc has caused our child. Our 6th grader is relearning 4th grade math and admits she has learned nothing all year. I wonder why I am sending her most days. she did attended All County band this year and is enjoying her social life, but is all that worth not being college ready? She won’t be, I have talked to college reps and they say no they won’t and they will need to take more remedial courses than they already have to because of this. I hope King and Cuomo get the common can and we can turn this around. I doubt it. Like you starting your business, I am facing a high possibility that I will need to work next year. I am not sure how to handle that and home school for the little one. I am not sure I can. Home school isn’t so difficult as it is time consuming. Minimum of 5 hours a day….on a good day. The days your child doesn’t want to focus and wants to play with her toys (that are right in arms reach) are longer, or you add hours to the next few days to make up time. On the up side, the flexibility is there when emergencies pop up or you have appointments. School is portable or you adjust your schedule… What a dilemma the State has put us in. I am soooo angry.

  47. Mollie says:

    I live in Texas, and my story is almost “exactly” as yours… It’s heartbreaking! I’m also a teacher, and have changed jobs to teach in a private Christian school because of these same issues. The teachers are afraid to speak out, and not much is getting done because parents are not aware, or just don’t want to be “black-balled” as a pesty, complaining parent. It’s infuriating and my hope is that teachers and parents will somehow unite and stand up for our kids! They deserve better than this, and they deserve to be treated as human beings…not just a score that makes their state look good. I told my students that these tests do not define them as a person. In reality, it is about “jumping through hoops” , (somewhat like a dog show), complying with the district and state demands. It was devastating to me as a teacher to see crying, distraught, straight A students telling themselves they are failures…all because of these “TESTS”.

  48. Jen says:

    My summative “evaluation” was good (thank goodness Danelson) but what irritated me was the comment…”.make sure to teach to the assessment”. My goal used to be to teach them Chemistry as if I was prepping them for U of I or Northwestern – now it’s to teach to an assessment. This is incredibly sad.

  49. Anne says:

    I was told the same thing… to teach to the assessment!

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