Teachers, your jobs are at stake! I’ll tell you how in a moment.teachers

First I want to say that I know you have been under a lot of pressure having to learn about Common Core and how it will affect your teaching, your students, and your career. I know the passion that you bring to the classroom, and I’ve watched it fizzling out with frustration.. And I would like to say “Thank you!” for being the middle man between management and parents for the sake of teaching the child! As a parent, I truly thank you.

As I have studied Common Core for the last two years, I have not been able to pin point exactly “why” it has been necessary to retrain good teachers to teach a curriculum, especially since it was only “Standards” that were supposed to have changed. You and I were told that “teachers could teach what they wanted and how they wanted.” And here in America that sounds great! The freedom to explore subjects in a creative way! Until you hit that nasty wall of end-of-year testing.

With the implementation of No Child Left Behind more than a decade ago, you found that your job was suddenly on the line – based solely on testing scores! Before CC you had to teach to the test, and if those children failed, your school could be penalized, and your job would be on the line. Now with the Common Core Standards, the stakes have just been raised! The assessments will be available next year. And from what I have found, if the teacher, the principal, or a school administrator looks at the test, it will be counted as unusable and will downgrade your school to the point where it could close down for good. The tests themselves will be technology-driven, and will have compressive questions on the tests. No longer will the tests show how smart a child is, but how dumb a child is. By the 7th grade, children will be dumbed-down in math, English, language arts, science, critical thinking skills, creativity, and reading. On purpose, and not by you.

This week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed down 54 schools because of failing scores. Officials in Lansing, Michigan cut art, music and physical education, to accommodate budget cuts.

I wonder if you look at the children in your classroom and ever think, “These children will determine my outcome in the near and far future?” Have you ever turned and looked at the administrators or Unions and thought, “These individuals will determine my outcome in the near and far future?” It has finally come through to me that you, as teachers, are being set up to fail, as part of the break down of the public education system. Under this new system, you are meant to fail. Your job is going to become a revolving career choice, with thousands of applicants that are ready to take your place. The noble “calling” of “teacher” – the unique individual with the gift to guide young minds to countless “aha” moments and deeper understanding of the world around them – is to be replaced with the ordinary job of education facilitator, a worker bee that serves its short time delivering the state’s curriculum, rapidly burns out, and is replaced by another worker bee. To this new system, you are expendable.

Have you heard of the term “Lean management?” Have you, as a teacher, been asked to take on additional administrative positions? Have you been overwhelmed with the continuous classes that you need to take to learn the latest technique, or learn about the newest curriculum? It has almost become monotonous with the ever-revolving door of changing ideas about how, who and what to teach! And that is what I mean by your being set up to fail. Combine that with scores, grades, or rankings of your schools, as well as the lowering of your pay scale. It is all by design. Here are some of the details, from an article entitled “Lean production – what’s really hurting public education” :

“The primary goal of forced rankings is, however, to shrink the workforce and see how far remaining workers can be stretched before they crack. Emiliani advises managers to “develop an action plan” for the “bottom ten percent” of workers, and if there’s no measurable improvement in performance, “the associate would be subject to involuntary separation.” For the best of the workers—more work! As Bill Gates proposed last year in the Washington Post, policymakers should “get more students in front of top teachers by identifying the top 25 percent of teachers and asking them to take on four or five more students.”

Your value as a teacher is being tested, and if you happen to survive past the average one year experience of teaching, you will certainly notice the increase in students in your classroom the next year. I highly, highly recommend this article as it goes into much more detail than I ever could.

This is about collapsing the system, top down, inside out, and teachers are just the worker bees to do it! All in the name of helping children, too busy to fully investigate, while teaching from the provided resources that devalue the individual. Meanwhile the children are the victims and will end up being the working slaves of corporations and the government.

Lois Weiner, Professor in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at New Jersey City University

Lois Weiner, Professor in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at New Jersey City University

Professor Lois Weiner from New Jersey City University, in New York, spoke passionately about her concerns for teachers in conjunction with the Race To The Top program, in the video below. Though I disagree with her politics, I definitely stand with her concerns for how teachers are being set up and used. More and more teachers that I have come across are confused and scared about how the futures of their careers are being tied to the children they teach. They need to know about how Common Core will be used against them, and they will need support to fight it, if we are to save the noble profession of “teacher” from being downgraded to “facilitator of corporatist education”.