I am deeply disappointed in the direction that education has taken in the last few years. Let me preface this by explaining my qualifications to make such a statement. I have 25 years of experience as a teacher. I am appalled by the leadership of the NYS Regents, the NYS Commissioner of Education Mary Ellen Elia, and the U.S. Department of Education Secretary of Education John King.
When I was a undergraduate student at Pace University, and then later a graduate student at Manhattanville College, I learned remarkable teaching concepts such as the whole language approach and child centered learning. Today the names made up to describe educational policies are carefully crafted to deceive with titles such as “No Child Left Behind” and charter schools called “Success Academy.” These are manipulated titles that rarely live up to their promises.
We are short changing our most precious commodity, our children, with today’s test, label, and punish agenda. I find the title “Common Core” offensive. Children are not common, nor is the way they learn. Every child is special and each child has a unique type of intelligence. To deliver programs that attempt to teach all children the same standard at the same age is absurd. The cost is enormous, not only in the dollars that are siphoned out of under funded public schools, but also by robbing our children of the well rounded quality education that they deserve if they are to succeed in the future.
There is an attack on children, teachers, and public education from those who seek power and profit. In order for tests to be helpful they need to be diagnostic. The NYS Pearson Common Core exams are neither diagnostic nor helpful. They continue to be developmentally inappropriate and have not delivered on their promises to improve education in our country.
We can no longer rely on today’s leaders. It is up to resolute parents and students to demand change. The only effective measure that will drive this transformation is the Opt Out movement. If parents work together then change will come. Take every opportunity that you have to speak out on behalf of our children and recruit other parents to join this movement. Civil disobedience is extremely difficult for many people. The forces that intimidate families into accepting this broken system and to remain quiet on this issue are relentless.