Video: Oklahoma 1st Grade Teacher Speaks Out: Money Skills Are Gone. Calendaring is Gone. Patterning is Gone.   6 comments

At a filmed “Understanding Common Core” forum in Oklahoma a week ago, a passionate elementary school teacher spoke up. This is what she said.

(She speaks just after minute 50:08 to 52:00.)

“My name is Olivia Goodwin and I’m a first grade classroom teacher. You have used the phrase ‘if Common Core is implemented’ . We’ve been implementing it in our classrooms for almost two years…. so it’s not a question of if. It’s already happening.

“We’re spending our own time and money doing a lot of professional development on how to incorporate it into our classrooms because there is no state funding or professional development, or it’s really vague.

“With that being said: you’ve said that Common Core is going to be raising the bar and increasing the rigor. From my first grade standards in math, nothing has become more rigorous. The standards are exactly the same as what the past was. They’ve just taken some away.

“I’m no longer teaching my first graders about money. They don’t get any money skills in kindergarten. They no longer get money skills in first grade. They don’t get any money skills until second grade. Calendar skills are gone. Fractions are gone. Patterning is gone. That’s all moved up to a higher grade. So how is Common Core more rigorous when in my personal experience with my first grade math standards, nothing has become more rigorous? They’ve just taken stuff away.”

In response, one of the forum leaders waffles for awhile: “I can speak to what I’ve read so far… They are focused on making sure students learn… to build on knowledge over time… I’m not a teacher so I don’t know all the terminology, but it is an attempt to raise standards.”

The elementary teacher then repeats, “But how is that bar being raised if it’s taking away a portion of standards that we previously taught, but it’s not being made more rigorous?”

Then the forum speaker then says, “I don’t have an answer to your specific issue… I think it would be an issue that– what does your principal say?”

The teacher says, “We don’t have a choice. We have to teach common core.”

Some teachers, like this Oklahoma teacher and many others, say the standards are not at all rigorous. Other teachers say they are much, much too rigorous. It depends on the grade level taught, the subjects taught, and the level of Common Core exposure. So, what’s to be done?

One more story.

A very close friend of mine teaches fifth grade Common Core. She says that she isn’t so sure about liking the math, but she does like the Common Core English Language Arts.

I say, “Even if you loved both ELA and math today, what happens when the unelected D.C. groups that wrote and copyrighted the standards change them next year to something you really hate? The heart of this issue isn’t the standards themselves. It’s a battle for control of who gets to set them and who’s writing the tests and books for them.”

Come on, America. We can do better than to marry the concept of standardization and give up our constitutional responsibility to drive education locally.

We can shake this thing off our shoulders if many keep gathering courage and speaking up.

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6 responses to “Video: Oklahoma 1st Grade Teacher Speaks Out: Money Skills Are Gone. Calendaring is Gone. Patterning is Gone.

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  1. I just finished listening to the whole debate. It was very similar to a meeting I attended in many respects, the same arguments the two gentlemen for Common Core used were used at the meeting I went to. Mainly that it was “state led”, teachers and parents were “involved”, we need public education, we need to prepare our kids for jobs, we live in a more competitive environment and world. The concerns parents, grandparents and teachers had fell on deaf ears at both this meeting and the one I attended. The reply was always, its the law, we are following the law…. What I liked about the woman on the panel, who was against Common Core, was that she knew how the laws involved in Common Core were created and amended. She cited facts and yet her opponents were unmoved. The reasons those who have bought into the “State Led” solution refuse to budge is twofold. One, they are protecting a source of income…. Federal money, (title one money, No child left behind waiver, funds for implementation of assessments which includes computers etc) To them government cannot work without that money. Two they are protecting their jobs – there is a culling occurring in the educational hierarchy where those who oppose Common Core are squeezed out, blocked, marginalized, silenced. Politically the pressure is the same, those who oppose face party reprisal and ridicule because the party serves the big donors (corporations, chamber of commerce, UEA, Bill Gates etc.). They are going against the Governor, who signed on to this program, he’s the “commander in chief.” The power and control gained by implementing a Common Core serves government, as government now sees its role as one of managing assets for a common good. The assets being people. The Government has no money, it only has assets and we are viewed that way, no longer as free individuals allowed to self determine our lives. They see the need to manage all aspects so that production can be steam lined to better manage assets. To sum it up when we speak they don’t really hear anything, its like a fly buzzing in their ear, we’re a nuisance, interrupting their work. I knew of a man in the mafia who had concluded that, “Money talks and man mumbles.”

  2. I spoke on the educators panel in the morning and that was a very clear discussion of Common Core with great points made by five people. The teacher, Olivia, in this clip is making excellent points. There is a concern on this clip. It is a total contradiction by Jenni White. Jenni said –“None of them who were involved in common core state standards were teachers… none of them… not a single one of them.” Chris Benge rebuted Jenni. Then she said “Yes there were teachers that were involved. I mean they did make an absolute show and I will say show of inviting teachers to come and be involved in these state standards.” These statements are the exact opposite. This is damaging to those of us fighting against common core. I think we need to critique what is recirculated so broadly because I can not defend this exchange here in Oklahoma.

  3. I thought she was fine. At issue is the word “involved” and I think her last statement summed it up nicely. Yes, they were invited to participate, and yes, they gave feed back, but at the end of the day, they did what they wanted to do. They wanted the teachers to “rubber stamp” common core.

  4. I watched the whole video. It was a great exploration of the issues, and I am particularly impressed with how civil everyone was. Energetic, but civil.

    Has anyone tried to get in touch with that teacher? I wonder if we could get her to do build a side-by-side comparison of what was taught before, and what is taught now? That could be a fabulous, concrete exercise to help clear the confusion about Common Core. Let’s show people what is changing in their world so they can better understand and push back.

  5. We have also been working with these standards for almost 3 years. As being a “Race to the Top” school, we have seen many changes. It has not been easy! We have worked ourselves to the point of exhaustion. However, we have seen great gain in our students and we are slowly closing the gap between all students. Yes we have to spend our own money and we have to come up with our own resources. However, we have to remember we are here for the students and the good of the students. So I say suck it up, keep smiling and just remember someone will be changing it all in a couple years! That is how education works!!!!

    • You are crazy. When the government has control, it will never let go. And use our own taxed income to indoctrate our own kids. Yes it will change but only in a way that loosens our grip on our kids, freedom, and future. Like Wilson said Take the children and make them most unlike their fathers.

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