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.

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