Tag Archives: Teachers

How Governor Hassan and Common Core Sets Teachers Up For Failure

Teachers across the nation and in New Hampshire are being set up for failure.  How? The new Common Core initiative targets teachers as the cause for why schools are failing.
Assuming that the problems lie with teachers (and we’d argue against that belief) one would think that any new reform effort would focus on setting teachers up for success.

Unfortunately that is NOT the case and we’ll explain why.

Teacher evaluations are being done via the Danielson Rubric which is sweeping the nation. According to the website, the Danielson rubric for teacher evals is “grounded in a constructivist view of learning and teaching”  http://danielsongroup.org/framework/

Page 5 from New Hampshire Task Force On Effective Teaching:

“Each subcommittee reviewed and discussed related literature and research and developed recommendations which were sent to Charlotte Danielson for technical review.

At the final task force meeting in May 2011, Charlotte provided feedback to each subcommittee on its recommendations in light of current research and best practice. The subcommittees incorporated her feedback in their final recommendations, which will be used in the Phase II design effort.”

So how does the Charlotte Danielson Rubric set teachers up for failure?  The information below  shows how “Constructivism” lowers academic achievement in mathematics and science.  We encourage you to read through the information provided in the links below.  You will see how this pedagogy pushed on teachers, actually puts students at a disadvantage.

Failed Pedagogy is a recipe for failure in the classroom.  Forcing teachers to comply to this kind of failed Pedagogy sets not only the students up for failure, but teachers too.

While we do not wish to dictate exactly how a teacher should teach in a classroom, we believe all information should be given to teachers so they understand the real problems with this approach to learning.  Only then can they adjust their classrooms accordingly and make the best decisions for their students.  In other words, let teachers teach the best way they know how.  If they want to facilitate in the learning process vs lecture, let the teachers decide.  If that approach is not working well, give them the flexibility to adjust their teaching style accordingly.

Common Core micromanaging teacher evaluations limits a teacher’s creativity in the classroom and can have a negative impact on academic achievement.

New Hampshire parents need to be aware of what is going on inside the classroom.  Governor Hassan continues to push forward with this initiative that further damages academic achievement and the ability for teachers to simply…TEACH.


New Hampshire Education Reforms: A set up for failure?

This is a VERY informative article from the Manchester Union Leader on the new “Teacher Evaluations” being used in the Manchester School District.
Please read through it then note the comments at the end of the article.  To read the FULL article, click on the link provided.

Click here for a list of Title 1 Schools in NH

A link to the NH DOE’s “Task Force” 

August 30. 2014 7:36PM

Manchester school officials back proposed evaluation system


New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER - City school officials are defending a proposed teacher evaluation system that would give “ineffective” educators up to three years to improve before facing termination and make “student growth” count for no more than 8 percent of an individual teacher’s score.

The revised evaluation system was endorsed by the school board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee on Tuesday, and is expected to go before the full board at its next meeting.

The system was developed in consultation with several “stakeholders,” according to Superintendent Debra Livingston. “The MEA has been at the table,” she said, referring to the teachers union. “The principals organization, administrators, instructional specialists.”

Livingston said the revised teacher evaluation system was meant to respond to feedback on the one implemented two years ago.

“We wanted to see what’s working and what’s not,” she said. “We’re trying to help teachers improve. We also recognize when you hire a teacher, it’s an investment . we’re hiring someone who’s going to continually improve over time.”

State and federal education officials in recent years have pushed for more rigorous teacher evaluation systems and to link them to student performance. Teacher unions have criticized the linkage to test scores as unfair, especially for teachers who work with marginal students.

Last fall, the state Department of Education’s Task Force on Effective Teaching issued its second report outlining recommendations for districts to develop teacher evaluation programs.

The report noted that New Hampshire has a strong tradition of school board control. “The Task Force wrestled with respecting this strong local control orientation while providing a clear vision and practical approach for implementing educator evaluation systems,” the report noted.

But Manchester has less leeway than other districts in how it regards the so-called State Model proposed by the task force, because approximately a third of its schools are recipients of federal “school improvement grants” or Title I funding.

The report notes that the waiver the state has received from the No Child Left Behind Act “requires that all NH Title I schools implement an educator evaluation system aligned with the State Model System.”

After school board approval, Manchester’s teacher evaluation system would be reviewed by the state Board of Education, Livingston said.

The task force “strongly recommends” that districts use statewide assessment tests in measuring student growth, including the new Smarter Balanced test set to be implemented in the spring.

We encourage you to read the entire article.  However we wanted to note the obvious lack of local control now guiding the teacher evaluation process.  We’d also like to note the emphasis on teaching to the test which teachers will now be forced to participate in if they want a positive evaluation.

The New Hampshire Dept. of Education signed agreements with the U.S. Department of Education in order to get a No Child Left Behind Waiver.  Whether you agree with NCLB or not, it is still a Federal Law.  Those who oppose NCLB should be working to repeal the law, not watch and even participate in a process that has the Federal Dept. of Education coercing and bribing states while at the same time placing teachers in a detrimental position.

Evaluations are certainly expected of most employees and no one disputes that.  However under President Obama, Secretary Duncan and Governor Hassan, this reform effort has exposed the real problems with targeting teachers as the scape-goat for schools that may be failing.

Manchester followed the rules prior to Common Core.  They mistakenly aligned their curriculum and taught to the NH Academic Standards.  They used faulty curriculum, like Everyday Math because schools in NH were trying to align fuzzy math curriculum to fuzzy NH Math Standards (GLE’s).

In many ways, the NH Department of Education under Governor Lynch failed the students, teachers, parents and public education.  Under Governor Lynch, the NH Dept. of Education ignored these problems but when the Race to the Top money/grants came out, all of a sudden the old standards weren’t good enough and they had to adopt Common Core Standards.

Like other schools in NH, Manchester did what No Child Left Behind expected them to do.  Align curriculum to the State Standards and tests.  When you adopt poor quality curriculum, like Everyday Math, to poor quality math standards the NH DOE developed, it’s a recipe for failure.

Now that the NH DOE has adopted Common Core Standards, nothing will really change.  They say that the new Common Core Standards are better than what they inflicted upon the schools prior to CCSS, however we are certainly seeing the numerous problems with the developmentally inappropriate math standards, curriculum and tests.

Who now becomes the real victim in all of this?  The Teachers and of course the children.

The teachers are forced to use faulty curriculum because they will be told it aligns to the standards and tests.  The teachers will follow their orders because they know they will now be evaluated on the faulty Common Core tests.  And then in a few years when everyone figures out this was another failure pushed on us by the Feds, they will come up with another program to save us.

At what point do we realize that the top-down approach doesn’t work?

The U.S. Dept. of Ed. budget will be about $69 BILLION dollars.  Money that could be spent on purchasing real math programs for students.  Money that could be used to improve teacher training by focusing Professional Development that helps a teacher fully understand the academic content.

Manchester could correct this problem if they had real leadership.
New Hampshire could correct this problem if they had real leadership.

Many are now referring to this Common Core Reform Effort as a set up for failure.  But who is being set up for failure?  Your teachers and their students.


The Patronizing of Parents and Teachers by the Concord Monitor Editor

(With permission to post on this web site)

In reply to this: http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/13201820-95/editorial-myths-guiding-opposition-on-common-core

Dear Editor:

The recent Editorial by the Concord Monitor: Myths guiding opposition on Common Core, expresses the same patronizing position other supporters have taken when addressing the opposition to Common Core.

Since most of the opposition has come directly from parents and teachers one has to ask, does the editorial staff believe they are stupid?

The Huffington Post recently published an article: How the Common Core Lost Teacher Support. In the article, Peter Greene who is a teacher, talks about how support for Common Core is dropping like a stone among teachers. He also lists the many reasons for the continued decline among teachers, such as the horrible core-aligned curriculum that they say causes children to suffer.  


We’ve seen numerous examples of developmentally inappropriate math assignments for young children that Child Psychologists, Teachers and Parents have rightfully criticized.  If a young child’s brain is not developed to think abstractly and yet the math standards call for abstract thinking in the early years, all they’ve done is set the child and teacher up for failure.

Speaking of teachers, this entire reform effort has teachers as the scape-goat. U.S. Secretary Duncan has pulled No Child Left Behind Waivers if states were unwilling to tie a teacher’s evaluation to the standardized tests.  This has made the problem of high stakes testing an even bigger problem.

Parents throughout the country have researched Common Core and it’s insulting to imply that they are “mis-guided”.  Teachers are on the front lines dealing with these new standards and tests and it’s insulting to imply that they are misguided too.

There was a better way to address the low quality New Hampshire Standards that were developed under Governor Lynch that no one seemed to mind using prior to the Common Core.  The former or the current Governor could have utilized the teachers in New Hampshire, the college Professors at our local colleges and universities, and developed state level standards that are the best in the country.

Other states have taken that route, why not New Hampshire?  Why should our children settle for standards that do not include math standards that prepare students for STEM programs?  Why should our children settle for standards that put them two years behind their international peers?

This is the failure of the Hassan Administration and the previous Lynch Administration.  Neither were committed to developing state standards that are the best in the country and that are developmentally appropriate for children.

Instead we continue to hear how we are guided by myths when we know the facts.

Ann Marie Banfield
Education Liaison, Cornerstone Action

How the Common Core Lost Teacher Support


The lying.

Remember how supporters of the Core used to tell us all the time that these standards were written by teachers? All. The. Time. Do you know why they’ve stopped saying that? Because it’s not true, and at this point, most everybody knows it’s not true. The “significant” teacher input, the basis in solid research — all false. When someone is trying to sell you medicine and they tell you that it was developed by top doctors and researchers and you find out it wasn’t and they have to switch to, “Well, it was developed by some guys who are really interested in mediciney stuff who once were in a doctor’s office” — it just reduces your faith in the product.

CLICK to read more here

AFT puts Sect. Arne Duncan on an “Improvement Plan”

The AFT put Duncan on a “Secretary of Education Improvement Plan.” If he doesn’t improve, having been treated fairly, asking him to resign.

Don’t miss the comments from the rank and file teachers at the bottom.


Maine Teachers Turning On Common Core

AUGUSTA – Maine teachers are growing frustrated with the Common Core State Standards, a controversial educational reform that has quietly wound its way into nearly every American school in the past few years.

“Teachers from around the country (including many here in Maine) have expressed concerns about the way the Common Core standards are being implemented and assessed,” wrote Maine Education Association (MEA) lobbyist John Kosinski in a Feb. 19 email to Democratic leaders.

“Frustration is quickly growing among teachers,” Kosinski wrote.

The email, which was sent to Senate President Justin Alfond (D-Portland), House Speaker Mark Eves (D-North Berwick), Sen. Rebecca Millett (D-Cape Elizabeth) and Rep. Bruce MacDonald (D-Booth Bay), was obtained by The Maine Wire through a public records request.

Kosinski did not respond to requests for comment about Common Core and the MEA, but the email says the National Education Association (NEA) is “calling for a review of the standards and their implementation.”

“You can expect the NEA will be calling for greater collaboration with teachers on retooling the standards,” he wrote.

Maine replaced the Maine Learning Results with the Common Core in January of 2011, becoming the 42nd state to have adopted them.

Read more…

Teachers Against Common Core

Stop Common Core in NH continues to stand WITH teachers and against Common Core

PJSTA Approves Resolution to Oppose Common Core

At today’s regularly scheduled meeting the PJSTA’s Representative. Council unanimously voted to approve the following resolution to oppose the Common Core State Standards. The resolution will be submitted to the AFT and NYSUT for consideration from those parent unions.

Resolution to Oppose the Common Core State Standards

WHEREAS, the purpose of education is to educate a populace of critical
thinkers who are capable of shaping a just and equitable society in
order to lead good and purpose-filled lives, not solely preparation
for college and career; and

Read more…