Category Archives: Evaluations

Now Bill Gates Demands That Common Core Tests Be POINTLESS for Two Years

Now Bill Gates Demands That Common Core Tests Be POINTLESS For Two Years

9:49 AM 06/11/2014                          Eric Owens

Education Editor


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization that has used up over $200 million in an effort to foist the Common Core Standards Initiative on America, has now asked schools to shelve any plans for using Common Core-associated standardized tests to assess teachers or students for the next two years.

The request came in the form of a “Dear partners” letter from Vicki Phillips, the director of education at a Gates Foundation branch called College Ready.

“It’s been inspiring this past year to hear from teachers and educators in many states and school districts who are excited about the standards,” Phillips writes a lengthy introduction. (RELATED: Here’s Another Impossibly Stupid Common Core Math Worksheet)

Students are “taught to analyze and apply information, not just gather it and remember it,” she also writes. “They’re encouraged to ask questions, solve problems, and think for themselves.” Eventually, Phillips arrives at the point of her missive, which is to urge state-level education bureaucrats and local school districts to impose a moratorium on any kind of evaluations based on Common Core-aligned standardized tests.

“[T]he Gates Foundation agrees with those who’ve decided that assessment results should not be taken into account in high-stakes decisions on teacher evaluation or student promotion for the next two years,” Phillips explains. (This part is italicized.)

“The standards need time to work. Teachers need time to develop lessons, receive more training, get used to the new tests, and offer their feedback,” she argues.

In a nutshell, then, the Gates Foundation wants American students in taxpayer-funded public schools to use class time to take a series of long, arduous Common Core-aligned tests for two years but also wants the tests to evaluate exactly nothing in the way of student progress or teacher quality.

“It’s valuable for students to actually take the Common Core-aligned tests without consequences during this period, so that teachers can get familiar with the tests, have a chance to offer their feedback, and get a feel for the students’ successes and challenges,” the Gates Foundation employee writes.

“Under this approach, teachers get the time, tools and support they need to teach the new standards, and students have a chance to get used to the new tests,” Phillips adds. “This can ensure that students receive the high-quality instruction that will get them ready for life.”

The call for a delay is an about-face from previous attempts by Common Core advocates to roll out the national standards very rapidly.

The Daily Caller was unable to reach any rising high school juniors or seniors to find out how they view two years of tests that will assess nothing.

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Hooksett, NH Teacher Speaks Out Against Common Core

My Letter to Bill Duncan and the NH Board of Education regarding Common Core here in NH.

Good Morning Mr. Duncan!

My name is Maryann Boucher and we met briefly at the Common Core State Standards Debate at St Anslem’s College last Monday evening. I was the teacher that approached you after the debate, sharing my displeasure with CCSS in NH and the lack of a Kindergarten Mandate/Full Day program in our state.

Throughout the debate you continually read endorsement after endorsement from NH Educators working with CCSS in their classrooms. You seemed surprised to hear I wasn’t an enthusiasts. I am writing because it’s my professional responsibility to share with you the latest news regarding The Chicago Teacher’s Union and Maine Teachers with respect to their recent opposition to Common Core, see below.

After you read the attached posts, please reflect on the following:

I urge you to look outside our borders and see what will soon be NH’s reality. Do you honestly believe Common Core and SBAC are the resources and tools we need?

I urge you to visit classrooms in our great state that have different demographics (poverty) and witness first hand the developmental inappropriateness of Common Core.

I urge you to do your own research! Learn WHY standards that were predominately in grades 1 and 2 are NOW living in Kindergarten? My classroom door is always open!

I urge you to talk to veteran teachers, and those that are not an “echo chamber” and listen with an open mind and hear their concerns.

I urge you to thoroughly scrutinize Common Core standards and prove their effectiveness and flexibility for our children with learning differences and culturally diversity ( ESOL).

I urge you to ask the professionals in Child Psychology, David Elkind, author of The Hurried Child , The Gisell Institute, and Leslie University why they don’t support Common Core State Standards in the primary grades?

I urge you to produce the evidence/study that illustrates “higher standards” improve student achievement. Great Teachers improve student achievement!

I urge you to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, if you haven’t already, and share your scores publicly. Then report out on how your SBAC data will help a teacher design instruction to lift your learning. Assessment should drive instruction.

I urge you to find another profession that will be evaluated by someone else’s work. (new teacher evaluation system attached to RTTT Funds)

I urge you NOT to state 16,000 teachers from NEA-NH support Common Core.

I urge you to PAUSE and RETHINK your stand on Common Core in NH and it’s unfriendly cohort, Smarter Balanced.

As the Lorax spoke for the trees, I am an educator speaking for the children.

Thank You! You make a difference in the lives of our children.

Maryann Boucher
Hooksett School District
SAU #15
NH Educator since 1988
“Kindergartners should be blowing bubbles, NOT filling them in!”

A scathing interview with a 5th grade teacher who was in the room when Common Core was being created

Please ignore the reference to Glenn Beck, but listen to what this teacher has to say. This pertains to ALL education today, not just Common Core.

McQueen: The Common Core is much bigger than just a set of standards, a test, or a data gathering machine. Like a virus, the Common Core tricks its victims into lowering their guard by pretending to be something it is not. But the Common Core isn’t just a mindless infection of our society; rather it is an intentional takeover of our education delivery system and therefore a takeover of our children’s minds. It is a one-size-fits-all, homogenized, centrally controlled education delivery system steeped in Progressive ideology. It is antithetical to everything that makes our country exceptional. This cult is relentlessly pulling our children under its control, with a seemingly endless supply of money, and uses intimidation to silence its opponents.

Read more…

Teachers Know Common Core is an Attack on Them!

(Note: We know teachers are under attack via Common Core.  Here is a letter sent to Donna Garner, a retired teacher and political activist, from a teacher in LA.  Also note that teachers cannot speak publicly against Common Core because many will face a hostile work environment)

“Harsh Words from Los Angeles USD Teacher”

Sent to Donna Garner on 5.13.14

Hi Donna,

I’ve been following your emails regarding Common Core, and the situation certainly is not pretty. Thanks a million for all you do.  Many of my liberal friends are no longer liberals. They’re being screwed, and now they know it. We teachers had a meeting with the man who is basically in charge of all school programming, and it isn’t pretty. He’s leaving since they want him to reapply for a job; but he knows his job is being cut.  He will be gone. More on that in a minute –

Hopefully Common Core can be neutered. I heard that 35 states have legislation to either restrict or eliminate Common Core.  WOW!

Most of our math teachers are puzzled themselves by what they have seen in CC.

Our dept. chair (who is a vocal liberal and was a proponent of CC) came back from a district-wide meeting.  He said the entire CC plan was so illogical that his hands were literally shaking after the meeting was over.

I personally don’t think we have seen the worst of CC as of yet, just a mild prelude.  That’s why it needs to be eliminated and right now! Anyway, thanks ever so much for the emails and updates. I share them with my fellow teachers.

I learned today that LAUSD is eliminating the Special Ed. dept. altogether. I have no idea what they are doing, but it sounds crazy.

Our staff was asked to “apply” for a new school daily operations plan, whereby we could hire our own principal and have a say in the day-to-day operations. That has all backfired as of today, and one of the teachers said she would sue if she has the option. They have made it a living hell for teachers.

LAUSD is also getting rid of all Advanced Placement teachers. They have to reapply to get a job – now teachers will be called  “Instructional Advisors” instead of teachers. Welcome to the real Common Core. Welcome Facilitators. We are no longer to be considered teachers.

People don’t understand the forethought into Common Core and what the feds want to implement.  I’ll work at Home Depot or Wal Mart if it gets me out of here “yesterday.”

I am leaving California and moving to Texas. I would have left this year but because of health problems, I could not afford to leave my insurance. However, I am in the process of trying to get my Texas teaching certificate… At first, the Texas assessments were only given in Texas, but now they are available in San Diego.  I’ll try and take them, but…we’ll see. I used to be a salesman, and I can do that again.  I will do anything to get out of LAUSD.

Donna, please keep letting people, teachers, and parents know what is going on in the schools here. If parents really knew, they would be utterly shocked. This is where the education is heading. Complete control by the Feds. They are doing it to the teachers right now, yet the unsuspecting public is like the proverbial “frog in boiling water.” It’s over with here!

Anyway, just thought I’d let you know where Common Core is going. We in LAUSD are at the forefront. I’m going to try and document as many of the changes as possible so that I can send it to you.  Maybe you can use it to alert the rest of America

Take care, Donna, and thanks for helping me see some of the CC stuff; the whole picture is clearly coming into view now. I hope Texas is a better place for me to live and teach.



Many teachers OPPOSE the nomination of Bill Duncan to the Board of Ed

At we are a non-partisan, diverse group of parents and teachers working together to stop the corporate and big government take over of education in New Hampshire.

We come together with diverse backgrounds including our political views.  We may not vote the same way in every election but we have a common goal and that is to improve the quality of education in New Hampshire.  With a quality school system, teachers are secure in their jobs and parents are happy.

It is important to note that some of us are teachers and some of us work directly with teachers who face a hostile working environment if they speak out against Common Core.  One of our main goals through our activism is to make people aware of the attack on teachers through this reform effort by U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan.

Anyone who follows Common Core knows the U.S. Department of Education has waged war on teachers through their insistence that teachers be evaluated by test scores.  This is known as a “Value Added Model” (VAM).  Recently the state of Washington saw their No Child Left Behind Waiver snatched up the U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan because they would not evaluate teachers based on test scores.  Is this a tyrant or an appointed cabinet member who is supposed to be working to help states support a quality education?

Governor Hassan has remained virtually silent on this issue leaving many NH teachers wondering why she will not advocate on our behalf.  Instead we have NH Commissioner Barry who carries out the will of the U.S. Department of Ed. by supporting the Value Added Method VAM.

Teachers do not mind being evaluated and welcome it.  However if you follow Common Core and the testing that will be implemented per the agreement the NH DOE made with the Smarter Balanced Consortium, you know that teachers are being set up for failure.

You know the SBA (Smarter Balanced Assessment) is seriously flawed and you know the Common Core Standards are developmentally INAPPROPRIATE.  That means it’s also a set up for failure for YOUR kids.

Many teachers hoped that Governor Hassan would understand the significant problems with VAM and make sure New Hampshire did not follow that prescription.  Unfortunately she has done nothing to help.

IF you thought teaching to the test was bad before, get ready for it to go in high gear.  This is No Child Left Behind on steroids and teachers are caught in the middle of this mess.

With the nomination of Bill Duncan for the Board of Ed in New Hampshire, it’s another strike against teachers.  Bill Duncan may say he supports public education and teachers, but we know better.  We are solid in our opposition to the nomination of Bill Duncan for the New Hampshire Board of Education by Governor Maggie Hassan.

He did not support the teachers in Nashua when they raised an alarm on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He did not fight to make sure the Model Teacher Evaluation did NOT tie a teacher to a test score.  He supports standards that are developmentally inappropriate, leaving many of these young children in tears.

Teachers will be watching the vote tomorrow and watching how the Executive Councilors vote.  Whatever the outcome,  Governor Hassan will not get support from many teachers in New Hampshire.

The question now is, will the Executive Councilors lose that support too?

Our Coercive U.S. Department of Education

I guess one would be led to believe that having the U.S. Department of Education REVOKE the state’s No Child Left Behind Waiver was a bad thing.  We would ask you to consider a few things first.

If every state rejected Common Core and all of the strings attached LIKE the “attack on teachers”, it would force the Federal politicians to deal with No Child Left Behind.  They could for instance, REPEAL THE LAW!  Everyone knows it’s a bad law so repeal it.

Instead you have the Federal Govt. using a bad law as a tool to get states to adopt standards and policies that they do not want.  That’s called COERCION.

If every state REJECTED this tyrannical approach to education reform, we could go back to the people’s representatives working through the legislative process to deal with public education.  What we have now is a U.S. Department of Education ignoring laws that our representatives passed in order to force more damaging education reforms on all of us.

Governor Hassan and the New Hampshire Department of Education should be fighting this instead of allowing themselves to be used in this anti-democratic process.

The Education Department is pulling Washington state’s No Child Left Behind waiver because the state has not met the department’s timeline for tying teacher evaluations to student performance metrics.

Washington is the first state to lose its waiver. The loss will give local districts less flexibility in using federal funds. For instance, they may now be required to spend millions on private tutoring services for at-risk students. The waiver revocation could also result in nearly every school across the state being labeled as failing under NCLB.

Washington had pledged in its waiver application to make student growth a significant factor in teacher and principal evaluations by the 2014-15 school year. But the state Legislature refused to pass a bill mandating that student performance on statewide assessments be included in teacher evaluations. The department placed the state on “high-risk” status in August. Arizona, Kansas and Oregon are also at risk of losing their waivers.

For more information…