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Why These Teachers Quit Their Jobs. Hint: Common Core

There’s a national discussion going on about Common Core educational standards. Polls continue to show that most Americans oppose Common Core. Support is also dropping among teachers. Some educators have actually resigned because of the problems associated with Common Core.

Here are a few examples:

Susan Sluyter

A veteran Kindergarten teacher in Cambridge Public Schools resigned last year due to the increased focus on standardized testing.

I have seen my career transformed into a job that no longer fits my understanding of how children learn and what a teacher ought to do in the classroom to build a healthy, safe, developmentally appropriate environment for learning for each of our children. I have experienced, over the past few years, the same mandates that all teachers in the district have experienced. I have watched as my job requirements swung away from a focus on the children, their individual learning styles, emotional needs, and their individual families, interests and strengths to a focus on testing, assessing, and scoring young children, thereby ramping up the academic demands and pressures on them.

Read the entirety of her resignation letter here.

Pauline Hawkins

A Colorado English Teacher who has been teaching for 11 years resigned after becoming frustrated in part because of Common Core standards.

She writes in her resignation letter:

I can no longer be a part of a system that continues to do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as a teacher - I am supposed to help them think for themselves, help them find solutions to problems, help them become productive members of society. Instead, the emphasis on Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing is creating a teach-to-the-test mentality for our teachers and stress and anxiety for our students. Students have increasingly become hesitant to think for themselves because they have been programmed to believe that there is one right answer that they may or may not have been given yet. That is what school has become: A place where teachers must give students “right” answers, so students can prove (on tests riddled with problems, by the way) that teachers have taught students what the standards have deemed are a proper education.

Read the entirety of her resignation letter here.

Stuart Harper

A high school physics teacher in Utah has resigned because Common Core greatly reduces teachers’ flexibility in the classroom.

Second, is the lack of control over the core’s content at the federal level. I have no control in Washington DC, and very little in Salt Lake. I would prefer having the control at the county level, where I can have a say, but that is another subject for another time. How any educator in their right mind can surrender control of what they are supposed to teach to some network of desk bureaucrats thousands of miles away from their classroom is beyond me. It is the height of insanity.

Read his letter in its entirety here.

Elizabeth Natale

A Connecticut middle school English teacher has considered resigning because Common Core has hurt students and teachers.

Unfortunately, government attempts to improve education are stripping the joy out of teaching and doing nothing to help children. The Common Core standards require teachers to march lockstep in arming students with "21st-century skills." In English, emphasis on technology and nonfiction reading makes it more important for students to prepare an electronic presentation on how to make a paper airplane than to learn about moral dilemmas from Natalie Babbitt's beloved novel "Tuck Everlasting."

Read the entirety of her column here.

Brian Polet

A public charter school president in Michigan has resigned because Common Core is a “lousy educational model.”

This copy-written, corporate-driven education model has been developed by non-teachers and edu-crats from Washington to Lansing to the detriment of students, parents, taxpayers and local school boards. Without control of curriculum and a limited control of budgets, CC (Common Core) has effectively removed local control from parents and put it the hands of ESPs, the Dept. of Ed and state boards.

Read more here.

It's a shame that teachers are losing control as a result of Common Core. We need to get rid of these one-size-fits-all federal educational standards and allow teachers to meet the needs of all learners in their classroom.

6 comments
Finn81's picture
Finn81
12/17/2014

To Chrisx2: Each year I assign my students an essay on “The Power of Words.” It makes them consider how the words we use either bless or curse others and lift spirits or lower them. Your post negatively exemplifies the lesson of that essay. We're on the same side here! Education and health care have both been invaded by stifling mandates, protocols, systems, trainings, and data addiction. The human aspect is being lost in both of our fields--and that is frustrating, but not a reason to snipe at teachers and call them whiners. The teachers in the article weren't being babies--they were taking the ultimate stand for their heartfelt convictions. Any fair-minded person would applaud teachers who refuse to redefine their students as "increments of progress" in place of the hearts and minds that they actually are. Teachers SHOULD protest, in whatever way they can, when the prismatic potential of children is eviscerated by state-mandated monochrome. I will give you points for using the word "ratiocination"--but I wish your comment would have exhibited the word. The only "whining" I detected was your own. "Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem." --Seneca

chrisx2's picture
chrisx2
12/16/2014

Well, welcome to the world, teachers. You are just learning what nursing has been going through with all of the legislation on healthcare. For every 15 minutes of direct care we do a minimum of 45 minutes of documentation. Doesn't leave much time for actual patient care. But on the other hand, you have your unions and your government retirement programs to help. Nurses have neither. We are sick to death of your whining. Core measures may not be the answer but what is graduating from our schools is not a group of young adults able to do personal budgeting, manage a relationship and establish a path to greater prosperity. I don't see young adults graduating with a working knowledge of the world at all. If they had any knowledge, or if education nurtured ratiocination, this country might not be in the throws it is in right now.

chrisx2's picture
chrisx2
12/16/2014

Well, welcome to the world, teachers. You are just learning what nursing has been going through with all of the legislation on healthcare. For every 15 minutes of direct care we do a minimum of 45 minutes of documentation. Doesn't leave much time for actual patient care. But on the other hand, you have your unions and your government retirement programs to help. Nurses have neither. We are sick to death of your whining. Core measures may not be the answer but what is graduating from our schools is not a group of young adults able to do personal budgeting, manage a relationship and establish a path to greater prosperity. I don't see young adults graduating with a working knowledge of the world at all. If they had any knowledge, or if education nurtured ratiocination, this country might not be in the throws it is in right now.

Chuck Babcock's picture
Chuck Babcock
12/15/2014

Common Core does NOT teach History, it does not teach math, it does not teach reading. it teaches Liberal Propaganda and General Ignorance of The world as it is, Teaching Liberal version of the world they want it to be. the Horse Crap that is common core does NOT belong in our Schools.

John Eppolito's picture
John Eppolito
12/11/2014

To learn why Common Core is not good for our students or our country from a pedagogical view watch this one hour teacher created video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w4xD7nzLD8&feature=youtu.be
This is probably the best and most thoroughly researched anti-Common Core presentation to date.

Donald E. Watkins III's picture
Donald E. Watkins III
12/11/2014

This is such a disgrace. I know people who are ready to take up arms against this tyrannical goverment. They are so far out of control it is sickening.