August 10, 2013
An open letter to all the policy makers, business leaders and think tankers responsible for the horror show that is the Common Core in New York State,
Yesterday, I attended a social gathering of NYC teachers, which I thought was going to be an afternoon of catching-up, gossip and reality show bashing over Italian heroes and cookies. In the presence of wise, common sense veteran teachers, I shouldn’t have been surprised when our get-together instead turned into a damning critique of NYC’s new Common Core (CCSS) curricula and, of course, the new CCSS state assessments.
We bemoaned what’s being forced on us by our state and city; material that we don’t believe in as conscientious whole child educators. Like broken records, we concurred with regards to what we’ve long believed our particular group of students really needs in order to be successful learners, none of which carry the Common Core trademark.
With this in mind (and I appeal to your human side), please consider these questions:
How can you – in good conscience – think these tests and curricula are remotely appropriate for our elementary students? Have you even seen the materials?
Are you just repeating the “rigorous, college and career ready” mantra because that’s what’s expected of you at work?
Do you ever feel like a fraud at work?
Is your goal at work to make money and/or to please shareholders and higher ups?
Like so many teachers, do you go home at night and tell your loved ones, “I can’t believe what I’m doing at work. What a waste of time and money! This makes no sense whatsoever.”
If you are unmoved by these questions, we are left to consider the possibility that you may possess some sociopathic tendencies.
Katie Lapham, Brooklyn