16-year veteran teacher Stacie Starr’s ‘Top Teacher’ award did not protect her from having to resign over Common Core’s ludicrous and unrealistic demands. Starr was named the best teacher in the nation by LIVE with Kelly and Michael’s Top Teacher Search- you’d think that this would be proof enough that she knows what she’s doing. It’s safe to say that in order to win one of these contest, you need to be a pretty good teacher.
Yet, according to Starr, the new regulations that Common Core has imposed on her make it impossible for her to do her job and extraordinarily difficult for her students to learn anything. Common Core requires all teachers to run their classroom and teach material in exactly the same robotic manner. If each teacher does all things alike, nothing separates the greatest teachers from the lousiest. As Starr put it, ‘the rules keep changing.’ Teachers are now judged on how much their students take away from the class, but on their ability to implement a new, arbitrary, set of rules and procedures on a regular basis. The checklist used on inspection day for teachers in Florida contained over 125 items. Examples of these rules include, ‘physically go to all four corners of the classroom,’ ‘praise students for following the rules,’ and ‘do not sit down or lean.’
Starr is not the only teacher who has become frightened and frusterated by these rules. Many of our nation’s teachers have left the public school system in favor of other careers to escape Common Core.
‘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,’ says Starr. The curriculum is entirely controlled by the federal government, from how much class time can be used for lecture, to what a teacher’s powerpoint should say, to which textbooks are used. Uncle Sam now buys exclusively from Pearson, without shopping for other options. This essentially gives a private corporation the ability to dictate what the learning material given to all our nation’s children will contain. If Pearson writes a liberally biased passage, every public school student in the country will be exposed to it.
Common Core takes discretion away from students and instead gives it to the government. A student can be held back over one single standardized test question, but a teacher must call and email a child’s parent every single day in order to give that child a failing grade. Common Core has been compared to education laws in other countries that have been run by strict regimes.