In a viral blog post, a Colorado public school teacher resigned from her position as a high school English teacher in protest to Common Core standards. Pauline Hawkins wrote in part:
"I can no longer be a part of a system that continues to do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as a teacher - I am supposed to help them think for themselves, help them find solutions to problems, help them become productive members of society. Instead, the emphasis on Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing is creating a teach-to-the-test mentality for our teachers and stress and anxiety for our students. Students have increasingly become hesitant to think for themselves because they have been programmed to believe that there is one right answer that they may or may not have been given yet. That is what school has become: A place where teachers must give students “right” answers, so students can prove (on tests riddled with problems, by the way) that teachers have taught students what the standards have deemed are a proper education."
Hawkins has been teaching for 11 years at Liberty High School in Colorado Springs, but her tenure will come to an end when the school year ends. The Common Core standards have frustrated many teachers around the country after being created by the National Governors Association and adopted in 44 states.
Hawkins joined Martha MacCallum this morning on America's Newsroom, explaining that what has frustrated her the most about Common Core is watching her own son, a third-grader, as he progresses through elementary school.
"He's struggling to keep up with where they want him to be and he'd come home every day, crying, [saying] 'I hate school,'" she said, adding that the government standards fail to take into account that every student learns differently.
"They have certain skills that they want the kids to have at a certain time, at a certain age, at a certain grade level. And kids just aren't made like that. We're all different," said Hawkins, who added that there are "good intentions" behind the standards, but the implementation is much too rigid.
Hawkins said she and her colleagues have become overwhelmed by paperwork and data collection, taking valuable time away from creating lesson plans and helping students learn.
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