Category Archives: Teachers

WARNING: From NH Teacher/Mother on Common Core

We received a letter from a parent/teacher in New Hampshire. She asked that her name be removed. Parents are removing their kids from the public schools but it’s even more telling that this one is a teacher too.
We hear from many parents and teachers and we thought this was one that needs to be read by as many people as possible.

Hi there –

Thanks for all you do on behalf of our children who are apart of the New Hampshire public school system. I’m a former teacher. I have a M.Ed from **** College. I used to teach elementary school but have been a stay at home mom for many years now while still keeping my certification valid.

I’m writing to let you know how Common Core, and other educational reforms, have impacted my children’s lives in the public school system. I have three children.

My two older kids had a great experience going through our public school system in elementary school. They are now in high school. Common Core started in our school system when they were in middle school. The way it has impacted them is the push we’re seeing to bring down the top kids and bring up the lower level learners. Both my older children are higher level learners. One qualified for a higher level math class in 6th grade. Instead of being encourage to pursue this great opportunity, we were being persuaded to keep him in a lower class so he could feel more apart of his peers. We put him in the higher level class anyway. We see similar things in high school. There seems to be a push to keep the higher level learners from being challenged.

My youngest is in second grade and I pulled her from school this year to homeschool. I pulled her also for the lack of being challenged. She is a higher level learner like her older siblings. At her elementary school there was plenty of extra help for the lower achievers. The teachers teach, using the standards, to the rest of the class. The higher level learners are left to be bored. When I asked the principal if there was a way to challenge her in math, I was told to challenge her in other areas of her life like extra curricular. When asked her teacher to challenge her, I was continually dismissed and told she needs to go “wider and deeper” and not higher. In kindergarten, when asked if she could move on to more advanced topics, she was instead given frustrating maze like math challenges to “improve her perseverance”. In 1st grade, my goals for her to be challenged in math were ignored. She cruised through all the math lessons not learning or being challenged.

I feel as though Common Core keeps kids in a box. There isn’t a way to move ahead if you are in first grade and on a third grade math level. When you get to 4th and 5th grade, I’ve heard repeatedly from parents over and over that the way math is taught is confusing for both students and parents and does not make sense. That is not incentive to put my daughter back into public school.

Our elementary school is a great elementary school with super teachers. We moved to this town because of our wonderful school. I would like to see our teachers free to collaborate and create their own standards within our school. The teachers in a school know their community of students best.

In addition, I do not like the Smarter Balanced. I have respectfully refused all standardized testing for all of my children in the past. I don’t like that the test not only tests for academics but also for dispositions and beliefs. I don’t like data being collected about my children. The countries top private schools do not use the Common Core and do not use the Smarter Balanced. We should use these top school as models.

A great number of parents in our school system also do not like the shift to Competency Based Assessments either. Our schools are slowly changing over. Again it’s the parents of the higher level learners that seem to prefer traditional grading. We had a petition in our school system going around on to keep traditional grading. Many parents and students signed it with numerous comments and reasons to keep traditional grading.

We are much happier out of the public school system and not having to deal with all these educational reforms like Common Core, Smarter Balanced and Competency Based Assessments. With homeschooling I can tailor my youngest child’s education to her individual needs. Public school can’t do that at this point in time with the restraints and expectations of Common Core. As I’ve personally seen at various grade levels, there seems to be a push to keep the higher level learners from being challenged. Many other parents I have talked to feel he same way.

I would love to turn back the clock when school was fun and teachers had the autonomy in the classroom to teach towards each childs individual needs and challenge them and take them as far as they can go.

Parent from SAU16

Teacher Accountability but NO Accountability on VA or Benghazi scandals

Teachers have been stripped of their autonomy in the classroom over the years due to federal education reforms. From Goals 2000, to No Child Left Behind and now to Common Core, the federal reforms have slowly stripped teachers of their autonomy.

The bureaucrats tell us, we need ACCOUNTABILITY in education. We would agree. Why haven’t they been held accountable for their failed policies?

The bureaucrats tell us, we need ACCOUNTABILITY by tying a teacher’s evaluation to flawed Common Core assessments. The tool that drives the curriculum.

We believe schools should be accountable, to PARENTS and to those live in their community. LOCAL CONTROL.

Isn’t it interesting that the SAME people who call for accountability in schools never hold themselves accountable?

After the Veterans Administration scandal, who lost their job? NO ONE.
After the Benghazi scandal, who lost their job? NO ONE.

Who’s losing their jobs due to the Common Core failures? Teachers.

NASHUA Smarter Balanced Scores RELEASED: It’s Not Good?

The New Hampshire Dept. of Education directed Superintendents across New Hampshire to withhold the data on the preliminary proficiency scores from the Smarter Balanced (Common Core) Assessment.

Parents and school board members around the state began asking, who do the Superintendents work for? Commissioner Barry OR the local community that hires and fires them? Once again, we see the Commissioner directing our Superintendents as if they work for her. Commissioner Barry continues to pit NH Superintendents against the people who pay their salaries.

The Nashua School Board recently directed their Superintendent, Mark Conrad, to release the preliminary scores. As we predicted, the low scores are shocking.

We do want to remind everyone that these are PRELIMINARY SCORES and are subject to change, however these initial scores do not look good at all.

This might be a startling revelation for many people, but can you rely on these scores to determine if your child or school is not performing well?

We’ve posted information on how the Smarter Balanced Assessment is FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. We’ve shared information from assessment experts who’ve reminded us that this assessment has NOT been independently validated. We know the Nashau teachers have informed the community that this assessment comes with serious problems.

So why does Governor Hassan, Commissioner Barry and the NH Department of Education, continue to force this upon our schools and students? When will they choose an achievement TEST that is validated and tests knowledge? Why do they continue to force our schools to use psychometric assessments that assess our child’s values, attitudes and beliefs?

The New Hampshire Department of Education operates with a standardized assessment that no one can rely upon for good data and yet this is the information that will be collected on your children and used against them and your teachers too. This was a SET UP FOR FAILURE for your children and teachers!

INCOMPETENT? That’s what we are beginning to believe.

BRAVO to the Nashua school board members who reminded everyone who employs the Superintendent in their school district. They were right to criticize the Commissioner for her continued over-reach of authority. (source: Nashua BoE Meeting 10/13/15 Minute 2:54:00 to 2:57:11)

SBAC prelim release to BOE Oct 2015

Gun Control and Common Core

As we predicted, Common Core Standards would be used to turn students into political activists. Gone are the days of educating students in the core academic subjects and allowing them to think for themselves. Common Core is more about pushing kids to become political activist at the expense of literacy.

We know that many high school grads are NOT reading the U.S. Constitution or other important founding documents.

In states like New Hampshire, our Social Studies “Standards” were rated at an “F” level. In other words, our kids are not learning the core academics in important subjects like Civics and U.S. History.

Now, the Common Core Standards will ignore the problems of illiteracy in these subjects and exacerbate the problem. How? By requiring students who may not have a solid academic foundation, to lobby their elected officials AND debate political issues.

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Look at what kids in 1954 on an 8th grade civics test had to know and ask yourself, are our children learning this important information first? Are the schools equipping students with knowledge so at some point, they can debate important political issues? Or are they denying them core academic content and allowing students to be used as political activists, not based on facts and information but on emotions and feelings?

Whatever your position is on gun control, let’s make sure our schools are first educating our kids and giving them a foundation of knowledge. Then they can form their own opinions. Or is that what they are trying to stop?

CALL TO ACTION: E-mail State Representative Judith Spang

Please E-MAIL Rep. Judith Spang the following article
Her e-mail address is:

Rep. Spang (D-Durham) continues to deny that standardized test scores will be used to evaluate teachers. As you can see from this article, there is plenty of information from the NH Dept. of Ed to suggest, that’s exactly how they will be used.

We also suggest looking at the Manchester Innovation Zone Implementation Plan:
Click on the link and scroll down to #17 where it says
17.2 Twenty Percent of teacher evaluations will be based on student growth results

LOOK OUT NH TEACHERS: you have a target on your back!

Teacher Confirms: Common Core Is About Destroying Public Education In The United States

We’ve said all along that Common Core was out to destroy public ed and the teaching profession. Many teachers know this but there are still those who think this reform is just about a set of standards.

With the tyrannical approach to teacher evaluations from the U.S. Dept. of Education, we continue to advocate for ABOLISHING the Department. There is NO need to have any federal level education department. Your local schools should be run by your local community. Not only is it a waste of money to maintain the bloated bureaucratic agency, they’ve become tyrannical with these destructive education reforms.

A teacher in New York confirms what we’ve been saying all along.

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The Problems With Competency Based Ed. in NH Schools

Recently there was a brief discussion on a social media web site by NEW HAMPSHIRE parents and a NEW HAMPSHIRE teacher addressing the problems with Competency Based Ed. (CBE)

CBE has is another part of the Obama redesign in public education. Like the Common Core Standards, CBE is included in the federal reform. (SEE: Strategically use learning time in more meaningful ways, which could include effective application of technology, redesigning school calendars, and competency-based progression.)

We’ve also posted information that CBE is just another rehashing of the failed Outcome Based Education model that’s been tried in other states and proved to be a fad that never improved academic achievement. (SEE links below)

You can also read a detailed summary on how CBE is failing in Maine by one of their state school board members here:

Or read another post by a Rochester NH School Board member who explains the failures she’s seen in her district with CBE:

Once again we call attention to the NH Dept. of Ed under Governor Hassan FOLLOWING the Federal reforms rather than LEADING New Hampshire to academic excellence.

Below is a discussion between a couple of parents and a teacher. We’ve elected to remove their last names in order to respect their privacy….

Tanya: If there is one thing in the whole “competency” grading is that from a parents perspective..we see that our child received a “C” for competent..ok great! BUT how “competent” is my child? How many Cs in a particular area means they are fully competent and have basically “mastered” this ? How many NYCs can they get to still be considered “competent” in a particular area? And lets focus on this aspect for a minute…Competent means-”acceptable and satisfactory, though not outstanding” . Yet the goal of this is to have the children become competent..isn’t it??? Now lets look at what “Not Yet Competent” really means (I went with incompetent because the two are one in the same)- “not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully. synonyms: inept, unskillful, unskilled, inexpert, amateurish, unprofessional, bungling, blundering, clumsy, inadequate, substandard, inferior, ineffective, deficient, inefficient, ineffectual, wanting, lacking, leaving much to be desired”. This is what kids are being told they are when they are struggling to learn something..they are “inept or deficient”. I am not sure about any of you, but I don’t find this appropriate!! I grew up receiving letter grades and I feel they are much more informative for parents and the children.

Tom: The other thing that I find disturbing about “Competencies” is that the teachers seem to stop at “Competent.” The teachers neither look for not encourage the students to do work above the “Competent” level. My grandkids come home all pleased that they are “Competent” but when asked if there is anything above that grade there is confusion – the only goal is to be “Competent.”

TEACHER: It could be because they run out of time to get them above competent. They reach competent and it’s time to move onto the next competency. There’s never enough time in public education. Even esl kids fresh off the boat are expected to have mastered English after one year even though the research says 7-10 years is needed for academic language alone though the process can be accelerated with sound teaching methods and support. It’s unrealistical. That is, what’s being asked of your children is.

Tom: My grandkids spend most of their school days waiting for the rest of the class to “catch up.” They get the concepts right away, then wait for the rest of the class to also become “Competent.” (This is something that we were assured would NEVER happen under competencies – that advanced learners would be able to move right along once they grasped a concept.) They NEVER have homework because outside assignments are completed in class while waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. Yet, despite their quick understanding of subject matter, they are rarely graded at anything beyond “Competent.”

TEACHER: That’s another problem. Those who are ready to move on have to wait. They should be given enrichment activities to challenge them more. I taught grades 1-2 this past year and balancing it all was a constant struggle. I had two major behavior issues that were violent and 20 kids. So I was either deescalating something, almost getting hit myself or trying to get the ones behind to catch up. I agree with you. Their homework should be just that. It’s a failing system which is why I am going to start at a boarding school because I’ve had enough.

The failed Outcome Based Model is again, holding kids back who could be advancing and creating more problems in the classroom. This model is a dumbed down workforce training model that parents had to deal with in the 90′s and fought against:

Education reform is about rehashing failed fads and renaming them so parents will not know what they are doing to their children.

DEMAND BETTER. Contact your legislators and tell them NO MORE EXPERIMENTING ON MY KIDS!

More on the failures of Competency Based ed:

Who’s Targeting The Teachers In The Common Core Scheme?

We’ve offered numerous articles and info on how corrupt the new Common Core assessments (Smarter Balanced Assessment) are and why parents should “REFUSE” to allow their children to take it.

The Common Core assessments are not achievement tests and parents would be wise to have their children tested outside the public schools using an actual achievement test. Some suggestions: Iowa Basic Skills Test, Stanford Achievement Test, or the California Achievement Test. Make sure they are NOT Common Core aligned.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment is a psychometric assessment that will assess a child’s values, attitudes, beliefs, etc. The questions are phrased in a way that gives the test makers feedback, not on actual academic achievement, but more on a student’s attitude towards a particular subject.

Not only should parents be concerned about this corrupted assessment, but teachers should be equally concerned. Tying a teacher’s evaluation to these corrupted assessments is part of the federal reform. Some states have lost their No Child Left Behind Waiver if they refused to target their teachers with this kind of evaluation.

The L.A. Times reported “Students Matter” filed a lawsuit against 13 school districts in an attempt to tie a teacher’s evaluation to the standardized test.

So who is going after the teachers? STUDENTS MATTER. Who sits on the Advisory Board for “Students Matter”?

Students Matter Advisory Board
Russlynn Ali

Russlynn Ali was appointed assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education by President Barack Obama. As assistant secretary, Ali is U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan’s primary adviser on civil rights and is responsible for enforcing U.S. civil rights laws as they pertain to education—ensuring the nation’s schools, colleges and universities receiving federal funding do not engage in discriminatory conduct. Prior to joining the department, Ali served as vice president of the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., and as the founding executive director of the Education Trust—West in Oakland, Calif., since 2001. Where she advocated for public school students in California focusing on achievement and opportunity gaps separating low-income African-American and Latino students from their peers; worked with school districts to improve curriculum and instructional quality at high-poverty and high-minority public schools; and designed, field-tested and implemented comprehensive audit tools that examined inequities in schools and districts.
Previously, Ali was a teacher, served as the liaison for the president of the Children’s Defense Fund, as assistant director of policy and research at the Broad Foundation, and as chief of staff to the president of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education. She has also taught at the University of Southern California Law Center and the University of California at Davis.
In the legal field, Ali was an attorney at Bird, Marella, Boxer and Wolpert, deputy co-director and counsel at the Advancement Project at English, Munger & Rice, and an attorney at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, all in Los Angeles. Ali is a member of the California State Bar. Ali received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. She received her bachelor’s degree in law and society from the American University.

Common Core is not just about inferior academic standards, data collection on children and faulty assessments, one of the key components is to target teachers.

When the Federal reforms prove to be faulty, isn’t it interesting that the same federal bureaucratic system that brings us problems in education, continue to be the ones who want to fix it? And yet these same bureaucrats are never held accountable for the problems they inflict upon our schools and children.

Editorial: Common Core: Unethically Sets Up Teachers & Students To Fail

Our kids aren’t getting dumber. It’s the unrealistic expectations of the Common Core that are the problem.

Editorial in Baltimore Sun about Common Core being developmentally inappropriate.
The Common Core can’t speed up child development

“Demanding that children be taught to developmentally inappropriate standards for language and math comprehension is not a harmless experiment. This exercise in futility wastes the time of teachers and students and unethically sets all of them up to fail. It exacerbates the very problems that the new curriculum is supposed to fix. It leaves boys, whose verbal development for biological reasons already lags behind girls, even further behind and will accelerate the trend of fewer boys going on to college. Even today boys only make up about 40 percent of college students nationwide and their numbers will continue to dwindle.

“The new curriculum standards and testing regimens are motivated by a well-intentioned desire to close achievements gaps that exist between the various socio-economic and ethnic and racial groups. There is a belief that by demanding that all children meet a set of rigid and arbitrarily high academic standards, achievement gaps can be closed and economic opportunities increased for all. The apparent reasoning is that if all children receive the same education and are held to the same academic standards, then all children will have equal opportunity to succeed as adults.”

Read more here

Rochester: Outrageous Orwellian Practices by School Administration Shocks All

School Superintendent Bolgen Vargas is now backtracking from a shocking email wherein a high level school official asked principals to find out which teachers were using their classrooms as ‘political soapboxes’ in instructing them and their parents about their right to opt out of testing.

He said: “I have heard from parents that a small number of teachers may have gone further, using class time or school resources to recruit students and parents to refuse the test. This would violate education law and is something the District would be required to address. I know that many of you may have seen an email from a member of my team about this topic. If that email was interpreted as intimidating or offensive in any way, I apologize. Rest assured that no actions will be taken against any teacher or administrator engaged in the difficult work of educating our children simply because they expressed their views.”

But as many of us know first hand, DON’T COUNT ON THAT BEING TRUE. Even in the 1990s teachers were tracked, spied on, and put on ‘teams’ to monitor their behavior, even while being forced to promote the UN political agenda via the curriculum. Teachers who did not follow the party line were forced to leave or outright terminated.

The offending email read thusly:

“Chief of Schools Beverly Burrell-Moore sent the email Monday afternoon to principals she supervises. The email asks them to share names of teachers who have encouraged parents to refuse to allow their children to take state exams.

Per your building, please identify teachers who have sent letters or made phone calls to parents encouraging them to opt out their children from the NYS Assessments. Also, identify teachers who you have evidence as utilizing their classrooms as ‘political soap boxes.’ I need this updated information no later than Tuesday morning for follow-up,” the email states.”

As anyone who reads this blog or the blog knows, our schools have been hotbeds of socialistic indoctrination for decades, requiring teachers to use their classrooms as ‘political soapboxes’ and teach the party line or be tossed out as ‘ineffective’. They have for years blatantly violated education law by instituting International Baccalaureate which suggests our government is not sovereign, and mandating Common Core and the tests that go with it, which is illegal for the federal government to do.

Now teachers are openly being targeted for letting parents know what their rights are concerning testing.

As we see here, this injustice began in the university system, and has now trickled down into the lower grades.

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