Common Core Pushed Me Out the Door

BiKnOqrIQAAVIEgMy departing words after a thirty-year career teaching special education in several public schools is this: Common Core pushed me out the door! I will be the first to admit, this may sound surprising and probably premature on my part - "retiring" (especially since I still have two of my own in college). But, I am leaving my life-long career and "retiring" from a job that I used to love because it is not fun anymore, it is not rewarding, it is not possible to put children first, and it is a crying shame and a very bittersweet ending to my career. The Common Core, APPR, the misconstrued state of the Danielson model and unreasonable standardized testing has pushed me out the door... This was how my original retirement blog started, but it was too negative for me to feel comfortable with as my goodbye to thirty years in the classroom. When I came across this draft tonight I felt compelled to share what Alphie Kohn had to say 14 years ago, and of course get my two cents in as well... Alphie Kohn Wrote in 2000 and published in EDUCATION WEEK Many educators are leaving the field because of what is being done to schools in the name of "accountability" and "tougher standards." I have no hard numbers here, but there is more than enough anecdotal evidence—corroborated by administrators, teacher-educators, and other observers across the country, and supported by several state surveys that quantify the extent of disenchantment with testing— to warrant classifying this as a fact. Prospective teachers are rethinking whether they want to begin a career in which high test scores matter most, and in which they will be pressured to produce these scores. Similarly, as the New York Times reported in its lead story on Sept. 3, 2000, "a growing number of schools are rudderless, struggling to replace a graying corps of principals at a time when the pressure to raise test scores and other new demands have made an already difficult job an increasingly thankless one." It also seems clear that most of the people who are quitting or seriously thinking about doing so, are not mediocre performers who are afraid of being held accountable. Rather, they are among the very best educators, frustrated by the difficulty of doing high-quality teaching in the current climate. Yes Alphie, you had that right, way back fourteen years ago... Want more? imgres-1Photo -
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