A few gems from the educational adventures of my niece and nephew, in Kindergarten and senior year, respectively.
From Kindergarten, I submit:
– A class that spent two weeks of their literacy work on lowercase b. And I don’t mean, they spent two weeks until every student had mastered lowercase b. I mean, that’s what the whole group studied (did worksheets on) for Two. Weeks.
– A teacher who called a meeting with the PreK teacher to give her a “talking to” because too many kids were coming to her knowing their letters. Yes, that’s too MANY kids.
– One of the moms went to talk to the teacher. Her son had begun having panic attacks about going to school, and had come home every day shaking. He told his mom that, when the teacher was frustrated, she did some kind of “paper ripping” thing, that terrified him. The teacher responded, “Well, I’ve found your son to be quite the liar. I wouldn’t believe anything he says.”
From the Senior, I submit:
– An English 12 class that has not read one book, nor written one composition this year. They do a “life skills” workbook, and fill out worksheets. English 12.
– A history class in which students watch movie after movie. And not, like, Gandhi. Like, Saw 3.
– My nephew wrote a rap to perform at his talent show. He performed it ahead of time for the music teacher, so she could approve it. After he finished, she replied, “I’m sorry, I can’t allow you to perform that at the talent show. It’s anti-Christian.” Leaving whether that would be grounds for excluding it to the side (for the moment), he asked her what she meant. She referred him to the part where he explained that he used to “go down on his knees and pray every night” to be saved from his family, and now he didn’t have to (becuase my sister is fostering him). He was stunned, and explained that he simply meant to convey how grateful he felt in his current living situation. She replied: “Well, you still pray every night, don’t you?”
My sister lives in a small town, in the countryside. There are no private schools around, there are no “choice” schools or option schools. The school principal IS the superintendent. There are no options for other schools, unless she moves.
So, you ask me, why do we need Common Core? Why do we need Danielson? This is why. There are teachers out there like this, who don’t have high standards for their students, who are cruel to their students, who turn school from privilege to terror. And until it stops, I’ll happily take on whatever you throw my way to ensure that no student has to endure that kind of education.