Common-Core-math-messI taught high school for a number of years, but as a religion teacher, I escaped most of the trials and tribulations my fellow teachers went through annually as new teaching methods were rolled out. Even private school teachers seem to get a new set of rules each year: teach this way, not that; use these techniques, not those. However, few teaching restrictions seem to be as questionable as Common Core.

What about teachers? What are their thoughts on Common Core? Here are a few reasons some of America’s best teachers do not like Common Core.

Nancy Atwell, Maine:

Public-school teachers are so constrained right now by the Common Core standards, and the tests that are developed to monitor what teachers are doing with them. It’s a movement that’s turned teachers into technicians, not reflective practitioners.

Stacie Starr, Ohio:

Starr said the new testing culture is killing education.

‘I can’t do it anymore, not in this ‘drill ‘em and kill ‘em’ atmosphere,’ she said. ‘I don’t think anyone understands that in this environment if your child cannot quickly grasp material, study like a robot and pass all of these tests, they will not survive.’…

‘Each and every day, I have to look in my students’ eyes and tell them I can’t help them because the state has decided they have to prove what they know…It’s just hard because, as teachers, we are playing a game where the rules keep changing,’ she said.

Cynthia Jones, Tennessee:

They say it’s going to be richer than your paper-and pencil-tests because it’s going to teach higher-level thinking skills. If you’re going to teach higher-level critical thinking, you teach higher-level critical thinking. The only thing I can find in their materials is because they’re going to ask children to write it’s teaching critical thinking skills. No, it’s not. It’s asking children to write a line or explanatory paragraph. None of their major rationales hold water on just a cursory look. It’s bogus.

Chasidy White, Alabama:

The very freedoms we celebrate and hold dear are in question when I think of what Common Core means for the United States.

One of my favorite writings about education from Dr. King is a paper entitled ‘The Purpose of Education.’ In it, he wrote ‘To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.’

Why are we only given information from sources paid to say Common Core is a good thing? Isn’t that the exact same type of propaganda Dr. King discussed in his writings about education?

Jamie Highfill, Arkansas:

We’d all bring our ideas, and the consultant would consistently say. ‘You can’t use that, it’s not the Lexile level.’ So eventually people stopped suggesting things, what do you suggest, so she pulled out [Malcolm Gladwell’s] ‘The Tipping Point’ for eighth-grade English, which I thought was ludicrous because it is too hard for kids to understand, and then have them write a paper about positive epidemics they could create.

Common Core is bad legislation and bad education.

Read “Meet 5 Award-Winning Teachers Who Reject Common Core” at The Federalist.

Catholic Education in the West: Roots, Reality, and Revival

Catholic Education in the West: Roots, Reality, and Revival

Catholic education has played a major role in the development of Western nations, yet it is in many places in crisis. To bring about renewal, it is necessary to revisit the subject with an eye to fundamental questions. What is the purpose of education? What is distinctive about Catholic education? What is the right relationship between schools, parents, Church, and society?