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 change.org 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