Who’s Protecting Children from the Unintended Damages of Common Core?   54 comments

crying child cc

Guest Post by Stacie R. Tawbush: mother, math major, and common core opponent from Leeds, Alabama

I’m about to be controversial but it’s about damn time somebody be.

For more than a year now I’ve talked about the effect that Common Core is having on my family and on my life in general – and what it’s doing to the morale of my children. CC has now been fully implemented. And just as other parents are starting to wake up – I’ve absolutely had all I can take!

We had another 3-hours-of -homework-night tonight. The kind of night I’ve told you all about. The kind of night some have called me a liar about.

Tonight, though, instead of taking a picture of the ridiculous math my child is being forced to do, I decided to take a picture of my child doing it. Call me insensitive, but I don’t care what you think. What I care about is my children. I see this on a regular basis and it’s time for others to see it, too… Because this is what Common Core really looks like.

This is Savannah. This is a 3rd grader at 10 o’clock on a Wednesday night literally crying over her homework. This is a child hungry for knowledge – a child who loves to learn. This is a child with a broken spirit. I didn’t have to take several pictures to capture one that happened to include a tear, because the tears were pouring down her face. This is a very smart kid in the midst of feeling like a failure.

So: To those of you who tell me Common Core is a good thing. To those of you who claim it’s no different than what children have always done. To those who speak against it but don’t act. To those without the spine to stand up against political pressure. To those in which CC has just become another political talking point. To those who think we need the money from the federal government to sustain AL education. And to those who had a chance to stop this and didn’t…

Tonight I’m mad at YOU.

Tonight you share blame in making a child feel stupid and her [single] mother feel like a disappointment.

And guess what? This happened all over the state tonight. Not just in my house. You had a hand in that, too.

Finally: To the warriors out there who’ve been fighting this as long (or longer) as I have. To the parents who just heard about CC yesterday. To the few politicians who refuse to back into the darkness. To the moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends who are seeing this everyday in your own home…

This is why we’re so passionate.

This is why we fight.

Fight On.


Postscript from Stacie Tawbush:

“It is not that the teacher is assigning massive amounts of homework. It is that the Common Core way of solving math problems is irrational. I sit up with her as long as I need to to help her understand equations. I teach her every which way to solve an equation – even algorithms! If we didn’t do this, my daughter would still be struggling to add. I blame nothing on the teachers. The blame is on the curriculum. I am a math major and cannot wrap my brain around how these teachers are being forced to teach the kids math. It takes us 3 hours to work through 5 or 6 word problems. I’m not worried about her getting the assignment completed… I’m worried about her learning.” -Stacie R. Tawbush


Postscript from Christel Swasey:

Child psychologists agree with what Stacie Tawbush is saying. Increasingly, clinical psychologists are speaking out about Common Core’s inappropriate standards and pressure, especially on the lower grades.

Here in Utah, Joan Landes and Gary Thompson have spoken out. Dr. Thompson calls Common Core and its testing program “cognitive child abuse.”

gary thompson

Dr. Thompson has written:

“There are kids/teens (as well as adults like myself) who will never master “symbolic processing” of numbers and math concepts…..just like I will never be able to hit a 90 mile per hour fastball 385 feet over the left field wall in Dodger Stadium.


We have high functioning, genius IQ autistic/Aspergers kids who, despite demonstrated giftedness in math, will never be able to answer this question due to their brains’ inability to process anything symbolically….let alone stuck at a desk in front of a computer screen.

Tens of thousands of Utah public school children will never be able to process math in this manner over the course of their public school education.

This is cognitive child abuse.”

joan landes

Utah Child Psychologist Joan Landes explained in an email:

“I agree that CC standards are not only developmentally inappropriate for youngsters, they focus on a very limited range of learning modalities (neo-cortical left-brain areas) thus limiting future abilities to learn much more complex subjects. The CC developers entirely missed the point of early/young childhood education when they focus on either the acquisition of facts (losing the opportunity to develop other areas of the brain to enhance future learning capabilities) or by making demands for abstract reasoning before developmentally ready (which will create a myriad of behavioral, emotional and learning problems). In addition, because the standards and assessments are so hyper-focused and high pressured for rigid cognitive (left-brain) activities, the children who have learning disabilities and/or delays will find school even more destructive to self-confidence and flexible learning.

In my opinion, a better approach to education in the primary grades would incorporate many of the tried and true activities from the first part of the 20th century to activate many disperate areas of their incredibly plastic brain (not to mention a child’s heart): Learning an instrument, Character values, Art, Sports, Games, Penmanship, Speaking, Singing, Reading and listening to narrative fiction and poetry and memorization (the kids even used to memorize poetry in foreign languages!). These activities (while not meeting a fact-acquisition or analytical benchmark) nevertheless activates critical areas of the brain which increases later connections exponentially.

Where’s the CC assessment for creativity? Or innovation? Integrity? Or emotional intelligence? It is a grave mistake to force youngsters to limit their brain activities to narrow interests, thus diminishing future originality and future ability to learn. It is a graver mistake to neglect educating the heart with character values, thus producing unfeeling, self-centered “clever devils” at graduation.”

Additionally, at a Notre Dame Conference this month, Dr. Megan Koschnick spoke out on the same topic.

Her remarkable speech at the University of Notre Dame was filmed and is posted here.

54 responses to “Who’s Protecting Children from the Unintended Damages of Common Core?

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  1. Thank you I am glad someone spoke up about the “Culture” of CCSS. We already know that CCSS is a Nationalized Education system that effectively removes the State’s Constitutional rights to empower their own education agencies and set their own district standards. We already know that the standards are sub-par and “Dumbing Down” curriculum, and Educators and experts in content areas would not sign off on the standards and denounce their worth and effectiveness. But what has been considered about the academic culture around CCSS and the attitudes toward success and acheivement that CCSS fosters? There is no “A” to strive for within Common Core. What does this mean? What is the long-term effect of this? Gradeless report cards, elliminating class rank, changing what how we define Magna Cum Lade, etc. are all parts of an academic culture that will shape the way our young children see themselves in relation to success. You won’t get 4, just aim for 3, and here’s a PBIS card for doing it the way we say. They look like they are working hard – it’s so rigorous! But what is actually being learned? This starts in Kindergarten (for now), this is their framework being built. I only disagree with Joan Landes that the CCSS developers missed the point, I beleive this is all by design. Do the research and ask yourself why it is set up this way.
    My daughter cries becuase in the third week of school she already gets a 2 in math, one day she went to 3 then back to 2 the next day. I tried to explain the grading system to her and how she will learn and improve and build skills over the course of the year, but the 2 is frustrating and discouraging her. I have a child that want to reach for an A, she is driven and intelligent and wants to do the best she can. This system is designed for mediocrity. It does not work for my children or for me.

    • Funnily, Common Core was an initiative of the National Governors Association, not the feds. “states rights” don’t always protect against boneheaded ideas, and not every bad idea is a vast federal government conspiracy. Don’t like common core? Blame your governor.

      • Actually the Feds have been involved from day one. They needed it to look like it was a state led initiative, hence the Governors group. Maybe a little more research is in order 🙂

      • The NGA is a private group to which individual governors pay to belong. It is in no way an “official” group representing the states. That’s what the US SENATE is supposed to be. Bill Gates donated lots of money to them, and others, essentially bribing this group to “endorse” CC so it appears to come from the states. It does not. In PA, the dept of ed adopted CC, they committed to it, and only when grassroots activism brought it to the attention of the legislators did they even start noticing it.

        Truly state-led initiatives are debated and passed by state legislators. At least in PA, that is so far from what happened, it’s laughable.

  2. Wow. This is a repeat of the ‘New Math’ of the early 1960s – so sad, it really made me hate math. I didn’t get it either and my grades went from As to Ds in 5th grade. It didn’t work then & won’t work now. FYI: here’s a song by Tom Lehrer way back then making fun of it, will likely sound very current: youtube.com/watch?v=DfCJgC2zezw

  3. Love you guys, and your passion. However, after much research, I do not for a minute believe the damages are unintended.

    Here in Texas all it took to sneek Comon Core into our schools (75%) was to relable it as CSCOPE, and inform doubters that it is the product of our 20 Educational Service Centers. (Our Attorney General had something to say about that.)

    When I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, critical of CSCOPE, the anonymous and harassing phone calls started coming into my office the next day. At the rate of 4 or 5 times daily, I stopped counting at about 80. I’m sure by now the number is in the hundreds. These calls originate from area codes all over the country and they are able to interupt my legitmate calls and insert their recorded message. They may be cowards, but they are sofisticated cowerds with the ability to wiretap my phone with impunity.

    I have come to believe that these people are as vile as Ayn Rand wrote about in the final chapter on public education (the Comprachicos) of her 1971 book _The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution_.

    If possible, take your children out of public school. This will at least deny the school of the income they produce by simply showing up daily.

    Mark Whitmore AIA

  4. These poor children have more homework that I do, and I’m a full time grad student! Whatever happened to instilling a love of learning in their lives?!

  5. THANK you for posting this!!! I just posted a picture of my 4th grader (this is the first year her school has adopted CC) doing her homework last night and the ridiculous amount of work required now to explain 4 different ways how to get the sum of 43 x 8. Written out in an algebra manner. Not only does she get frustrated, we as parents do as well. It’s beyond ridiculous! I will be homeschooling my now 2nd grader next year and had every intention on leaving my oldest and youngest in their magnet school until they reached middle school. Now that CC is at their school, that will not be happening! CC is evil! It makes our children feel like failures because they can not do the type of math I didn’t even have to think about until 9th grade. I’m beyond angry!

  6. Let’s try this again….. Indiana.

  7. I am a 18 year veteran teacher. I have dual certifications in regular and special education. I have three beautiful children…two boys, grown up men…one who was ‘labeled gifted’ the other ‘labeled ADHD’ and then I have my two year old daughter. I am a teacher being FORCED to teach a developmentally inappropriate curriculum. What will happen is more children will be labeled ‘SPED” more will be left behind…and more will drop out EVEN earlier. Where is this fight and how come I’m not invited. How can we do this in unison???

  8. AMEN! to all of what you wrote and all of what you are feeling. i posted on my own facebook wall the other day how sick and tired i am of Common Core. THIS (widowed) mom is completely fed up with it as well AND fed up with all of the parents out there who are blindly just accepting that this is no big deal. my son is only in second grade and so far… 1st and 2nd grade math has been a frustration for him and for me. he brings homework home and it asks me to help him with it right there in the instructions… but i have no idea what it is asking us to do. it says in the instructions that he learned it at school already, but he has no idea what it is talking about… and because it is so different than anything i learned in school, i have to send it back to school UNFINISHED because i can’t figure out what it is asking him to do… even showing it to my dad and mom (my dad used to teach school) and they didn’t even have any idea how to do this math sheet. i could tell my son was really wanting to get his homework completely done, but i had to tell him to ask his teacher at school to help him because i couldn’t help him. he brings home math sheets that he did at school with all kinds of red marks on it. when i look over the paper, he got EVERY math answer right, the only things he got wrong was all of the stupid BUSY WORK they want the kids to do in order to get to that answer. he knows how to add and subtract, but asking him to create a different formula to get the answer is insane. so, he got all kinds of red marks on his paper because he didn’t get to the answer the way Common Core wants him to get to the answer. he was just doing good old fashioned addition in his head and writing down the answer he came up with… and THEY WERE ALL CORRECT ANSWERS!!! i have been to many meetings to show my support and tried to talk to so many friends and moms about what is wrong with Common Core. some of them make me feel like i am a conspiracy theorist because they can’t imagine people doing things for the wrong reasons when it comes to our kids… but i know that some of them are finally beginning to see how INSANE Common Core really is. i will not stop talking about how much i hate it… i will not stop trying to do what i can here around me to put a stop to this insanity… but i want all of you who have been fighting it way longer than i even knew what it was … how much i appreciate you. thank you all, those of us who see it for what it is are so grateful to you all. thank you.

  9. I was flabbergasted to see math from the 5th grade that my son was doing in 9th grade. Science I had in second grade being taught in 9th grade. No homework. They do it at school. No books. Everything on line or on handouts. My son thinks its a cakewalk but I’m disgusted. He’s gonna get an education like he never dreamed of, now that I’m bolstering it with good old fashioned EDUCATION at home!!! I asked the social dance teacher about the music selection for the waltz the kids are learning because its crap contemporary music..how about some MUSIC APPRECIATION and teach the kids what the waltz was intended to be!!!??? ‘It works for me…’ well, it doesn’t work for ME! FED. UP!!!

    • Ellen, I’m in the same boat you are except my daughter is in 4th grade and almost all the work is done at school so on the few days that she actually brings home a worksheet to complete I don’t know how to help her because I haven’t been in on it throughout the week (not to mention the fact that I can’t wrap my head around this crazy math where 50 + 80 = 100). When she doesn’t understand the problem and asks for help there’s no text book to refer back to and she inevitably ends up in tears because, no matter how I try to explain it, she just doesn’t understand. A child who used to love school is now constantly frustrated with it.

  10. As part of my work, I was recently assigned to read a book that was written to help public school teachers and administrators implement Common Core in their classrooms and schools. I cannot be more specific about the title of the book, the author, the publisher, etc. due to constraints imposed by the client (hence my desire to post as anonymously as possible). However, there was one sentence in this book that particularly caught my attention:

    “We will know that we have succeeded in making our K-12 public school systems equitable when academic and life success is no longer predictable along racial, ethnic, or socio-economic lines.”

    I cannot possibly be the only parent who finds this statement deeply disturbing. There are at least two things wrong — VERY wrong — with the sentiment expressed by the author (and echoed by other Common Core proponents):

    First, notice one very obvious trait the statement above does NOT mention: gender. Oddly enough, given the pseudo-egalitarianism espoused by this particular book (if not throughout Common Core), there is NO mention of Common Core’s success being evidenced by an individual’s ability to succeed in life regardless of gender. However, let me be clear: societal inequities aside, men and women, boys and girls are DIFFERENT. Dr. Leonard Sax (http://www.leonardsax.com/) is a leading authority on gender differences, and he talks about distinct gender differences that manifest in newborns, such as audio acuity (on average, newborn girls’ hearing is approx. 7x sharper than newborn boys’; that difference grows to about 20x in adulthood) and visual attraction (newborn boys are visually drawn to movement/action, while newborn girls are visually drawn to faces/people) — these and other differences are hard-wired into us. Why do I even bring this up? Because in the Common Core book I’ve mentioned here, the author tells readers more than once to “pay attention to the verbs [action words]” in the Common Core Standards: in other words, consider that the very content of the Standards themselves is gender-biased against girls/women, putting female public school students, teachers, and administrators at a hard-wired disadvantage compared to their male counterparts. It’s highly incongruous for a statement about measuring the success of Common Core to completely ignore gender when other physical traits are included in that same statement.

    Second (and IMO most significantly, even as a woman and a mother), to me the author’s statement about achieving “school equity” and predicting “LIFE success” (emphasis mine) clearly indicates that, at the very least, the author has ZERO understanding of basic human nature and ZERO respect for individuality. In effect the author is saying that Common Core proponents will have achieved success when public-schooled children all achieve the same level of performance in school and in life (I believe we used to call that “mediocrity”) — never mind a child’s individual skills and talents, interests, and yes, even the opportunities we can afford to provide them as parents, in terms of financial resources, time commitments, and other sacrifices parents make for their children. It appears that Common Core is aimed not at providing equal educational opportunity but directly at producing equal outcomes, and not only in the classroom. I find this approach to education (and “social engineering”) absolutely horrifying! Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I firmly believe the much-touted “standardization” of Common Core is ultimately setting up our children to believe they are stupid. Common Core will not “fix” education; on the contrary, it will very likely place our children at even greater risk of coming out of public schools more damaged/traumatized — and less able to learn continuously throughout their lives — than ever.

    Please, keep fighting FOR our children and AGAINST Common Core.

  11. What can we do to combat this? We are getting a lot of information on how bad it is and I am totally against this, but how can we get this thrown out??

  12. My grandson is in 4 the grade and very smart. They are teaching algebra. If I had to do that at his age I would never have gotten through school. I’m a right brain person. My daughter is a left brain person. She has been up every night trying to help him understand this. Personally I think teaching in this manner is extremely ineffective for the majority. I see more and more. parents home schooling,before long we won’t need as many schools.

  13. My daughter is in 1st grade at a Catholic School in NJ. For math she is forced to color in squares or draw circles to do the addition when she doesn’t need to in order to solve the problem. She gets upset when the teacher marks her for not doing it, but my husband & I are afraid she will lose interest at having to color/draw circles when she smart enough to not need to. I can understand wanting the children to be able to follow directions, but this is ridiculous! We will be speaking to the teacher at Back to School night tonight. She needs to be challenged.

    Also, the diocese just changed the grading from letters to numbers. My husband & I are not in favor of that because there is nothing to show that the child doesn’t understand the basics (no “F”). We need to know when kids aren’t understanding the basics so we can make sure they do learn them.

  14. Parents, pull your children out and homeschool them. Even if you work full-time, it can be done, and done well. Teachers….strike! Refuse to teach this crap. CCS depends on the teachers AND the students. We are the only ones who can stop it! I have written to every government official I can think of, asking them to speak out against CCS.

  15. Common Core has no intention of encouraging children to think for themselves and to grow creatively. I believe that its intent is to crush creativity, thinking for oneself, but rather to create an automaton generation of crippled individuals. Studying history . . . what really has occurred over and over again in the world is dangerous to those who want a nation of robots to control. Look at what is happening all over this nation. Kids (and college students, and even people in their 30) don’t know real history nor do they seem to care to hear the facts. That want a sanitized version, one that doesn’t show people with conviction to principles of success and individuality that work to improve themselves, their families, neighborhoods, nation. No. They are only interested in what they can get for free, and how they can have a good time. Truth needs to be taught at home . . . daily. Teaching our children, grandchildren, and others that they are infinitely important and able to think and do and dream of greatness in doing good is our individual responsibility. We also need to fight Common Core and many other things our government is trying to force on us.

  16. Thank you for writing this from a parent and child’s perspective! Thank you for not blaming the teachers! I, myself, am a teacher, and what you don’t see is that we cry at night and after school too! I have seen everyone I work closely with cry over the same things, and many of the good teachers are leaving! We are realizing it’s not worth this! These poor babies, they don’t deserve this stress! Neither do all of us hardworking teachers! Thank you for speaking out! Thank you!

  17. I agree CC is going to destroy American education as we know it. Schools don’t care anymore. I should know. My husband is local law enforcement and whenever he attends those meetings between a failing student, their parents, and the staff he watches in awe while the school will literally drop every class the student is failing in just to ensure that the student attends class for fear of losing stays funds. It’s so sad.
    This is why I home school my children; I have 6 and I’m currently recovering from cancer surgery. Is it easy? No. But it’s not the 8-3 school schedule that everyone is use to. My children are done with school in about 3-4 hours. And since I’m the one grading their papers I know what subjects they need help on and I’ll find ways to encourage them to challenge themselves.
    Home schooling is extremely flexible. I usually see my doctors on Thursdays so I’ll add a weekend class to make up for it. My children have really come along. My 6 year old Kindergarten is reading! Best of all it becomes easy to use every moment as a teaching moment. It’s, without a doubt, the BEST decision we have ever made! I would suggest every parent worried about Common Core to look into home schooling! (Here’s a known fact: cost of 1 student per year in public school $10,000. Grades: averaged below standard. Cost of 1 student per year in home school: $500-$600. Grades: averaged above standard.) Imagine how much money or States would save if we all received taxed incentives for home schooling.

  18. I haven’t read every response to your original post so, someone may have answered the questions I am about to ask of my state representative. I am a third grade teacher in a local Florida district and am fed up! My question basically is does the problem lie with the standards or the curriculum writers? I am meeting with my representative this week to express concerns and to share examples of the math curriculum and how it does or doesn’t line up with the standards. Wish me luck!

  19. This is what I NEVER understand…WHY DON”T THE TEACHERS SAY NO?????? This drives me crazy. Just like Mrs. S says about, I’ve watched teachers so stressed out over the years and they continue to go along with every educational whim that comes along! GET A SPINE and say NO TO YOUR BELOVED UNIIONS (who are suppose to be fighting for you and standing up for you?) ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    • I’m a teacher in a non union state. Easier said than done for teachers to just say NO. Unless i want to be out of a job and have insubordination tacked onto my records and/or have my license revoked, I do my job to the best of my ability and implement what I’m told but I also add in critical thinking, creativity and discussion. working in a state with some of the lowest teacher pay, no textbooks, a curriculum that requires me to teach 550 years of history anywhere in the world in one school year, long hours because of meetings, staff development, paperwork, and a pay freeze for the past 5 years sees our profession in my state with a large turnover. And now they want to base salary on merit based upon if students meet a certain level of knowledge. How do you test 550 years of history? Where do I ge the materials to teach that when we don’t have technology? I love teaching. I challenge my students. I make them see connections between the past and today. But many days I’m frustrated beyond belief. Yes we protest. We’ve marched on our capital. We can’t strike as part of our contract. Again, it’s not okay to tell teachers to say No! Those who have families, those who are dedicated to seeing students learn, those who take the responsibility seriously and who have been in the profession for years have seen the “newest thing”come and go more than we care to count. I think we have all hoped this too shall pass. Unless we can elect leaders that have a background in education and have their own children that are being adversely affected by the Common Core and Essential Standards, we will just see ore of the same and the dumbing down of America.

    • “Why don’t the teachers just say no!?

      Are you kidding me? The same reason no one else would tell their bosses NO I’m not doing that. I guess you don’t realize this isn’t the teachers choice, nor is it the administrators choice. It is coming down at the state level. The only people who can stop this is the parents. The parents are the only ones who can fight this. They are the ones that need to show up at the board meetings complaining.

      “Say no to your beloved unions.”

      Again, I guess you have no knowledge of how things work. The unions have been fighting to stop this for years along with some school districts. No one listens and no one cares. The unions were trying to prevent it BEFORE it happened. When the courts are against you because they are working for the state and the governors ( you know all the union bashing and breaking that I’m sure a person like you usually enjoys) no union in the world can win against that. NOW you want them to stop the government from mandating the CCS? HA!

      So, Mrs. k why don’t you go into work tomorrow and tell your boss you don’t want to do your job? Come on grow a spine.


  20. Melissa Powless ChaconI liked the ending quote:Where’s the CC assessment for creativity? Or innovation? Integrity? Or emotional intelligence? It is a grave mistake to force youngsters to limit their brain activities to narrow interests, thus diminishing future originality and future ability to learn. It is a graver mistake to neglect educating the heart with character values, thus producing unfeeling, self-centered “clever devils” at graduation.” Idl what she means exactly by clever devils, but the rest I agree with. CC is an absurd excuse for government control just as they have always done– starting with taking children away from Native American families and forcing them to assimilate or DIE. Nothing has changed in the past 1-2centuries.

  21. I agree that this is a problem and definitely appreciate the information! But the real question is, what can we functionally do to stop it? Give me a course of action…I really feel kind of helpless here! In some ways I am starting to question whether or not we truly live in a “democracy” at all. I’m not trying to be negative, just honest.

  22. I feel the exact same way about CC. The teachers aren’t even allowed to really teach anymore. ..it is all scripted. They are reading from a manual how to do these problems as they are teaching our children.
    My question is how do we stop this insanity?
    How do we get the powers that be to do away with Common Core?

  23. Why do you think the Common Core has caused your daughter these homework nightmares? What is the connection between increase homework and common core? If the CC is working as it should there should be LESS mundane homework.

  24. It doesn’t matter if the homework is shorter if it take 10 times longer to do it!!!! And it is not like we still have not had math homework everyday just the same as in the past. If it takes an hour or more to do a few questions in math and let’s not even talk about the time it take to review for a test- that is not less homework! And not to mention that other subjects can suffer or not get the time it has in the past (like reading) because THERE IS NOT ANY MORE TIME LEFT IN THE DAY!

  25. I do not have enough information to stand strong on this subject yet (planning to learn more). I am a substitute teacher. I think that everyone is making very valid points. I teach the same math lessons at almost every grade level. I have to refresh my memory before I can even relate the lesson to the students in a 6th grade math class and then I find that there are high school students struggling with the same material. I don’t know about anyone else, but common sense would tell me that within several years of education there would be some progress. I also feel when jumping into a classroom their lesson plans rarely give a good amount of time for the work and learning expected. It is usually very rushed for the younger grade levels. Oh, and I seen where someone had asked about the teachers refusing to follow these guidelines set by CC. Well, I know several who stood up in the face of it and said no. Well, they were forced into “retirement” etc, while the school district just find someone else who will say yes. My daughter will be entering Kindergarten next year(still debating on private vs. a preferred school district), and while I have an advantage of the inside look to what goes on in the school system, my hope for other parents is for them to seek out as much information on their child’s education as possible. As a parent we are our children’s first educator, and there are too many who have joined the society’s thinking of …the government will make my choices for me and take care of my family, while I sit back and watch the show.

    • Just an add on to my previous comment.
      I noticed some posts on here suggest to send your child to private school instead. My son GOES to private school. They have to use Common Core as well. It really burns me up that I have to pay $650 a month for his education when this is what I’m getting.
      I’ve also seen some posts regarding home schooling then….wouldn’t that also have to follow the same Curriculum as well?

      • Actually, no, unless one happens to live in a state that seeks to mandate that. In many conservative states however, there is nothing regulating what curriculum you use with which to teach your children, and there are many different homeschooling curriculum you can choose from. Our own personal experience has been to combine sources together to make a custom-fit curriculum for each of our children, because what may work for our oldest may not work for the younger.

      • No. I have homeschooled for 19 years, in two different states, and I use whatever curriculum I choose. I have graduated two of my kids (both now at their respective universities on full-ride scholarships), and my youngest is 12. I will never use any curriculum used by our public schools. There is so much more out there. A real education is available to your children if you take things into your own hands. My children love learning. There spirits haven’t been crushed by a bureaucracy that could care less about who they are as human beings. We don’t do standardized tests (except for the ACT/SAT at the appropriate time), we don’t have homework, we don’t destroy their spark.

        What we do in my homeschool: We learn together, we do hands-on activities, we take field trips, we listen to classical composers, we learn about art, dance, and music, we do science experiments, we get messy, we go outside, we read…and then we read some more, we research, we question, we go to experts for our answers, we volunteer in our community, we explore, we discover, we have fun….and we learn.

        We don’t use textbooks for anything except math, grammar and some aspects of foreign language study. When we want to learn more about certain subjects, we seek out material from those who are experts in the field…not a dull, boring, textbook writer. And when we do use textbooks, they are written by people who love the material…mathematicians who understand how to do math, and are efficient as well as proficient at problem solving. Mathematicians who provide logical explanations children can understand, with hands-on manipulatives that help kids “see” what they’re doing. Material written by people who want your child to share their love and enthusiasm for the subject.

        Homeschooling has given my children the education I thought I could only dream about. My two oldest are very successful students (both on the Dean’s list every semester, so far), who regularly receive compliments from their professors about their depth of knowledge in the subjects they are studying, and most interestingly, their ability to write and communicate well. One of my son’s professors read my son’s essay aloud in class the other day telling the students, “This is how you write a persuasive essay. And did you notice the grammar?”

        If you have the opportunity in your life and home, please consider homeschooling your children. It’s not easy, but it is worth it. And your children will thank you for the incredible gift you have given them later in their lives. Mine have.

      • Melissa, private schools don’t “have” to use common core, but some do use it because they can get state money depending on the state they are in.

  26. In reading the book “Weapons of Mass Instruction” by John Taylor Gatto, I was distressed (but not surprised) to read that the subversive agenda is to identify students who will be the followers, and the ones who will be leaders. The students identified as leaders will not actually be encouraged to develop themselves, with their own identity, they will be indoctrinated into leading “the masses” into Marxism. (Those are all my own words for what I understood him to say in the book. I don’t have the book with me today so I’m not able to quote him directly.)

    It’s very frightening. Having attended Progressive public schools in New Orleans as a child/young adult, I can say that he is totally on target.

    Stacie, I can fully appreciate your rage and frustration. I am one of a growing group of concerned citizens, parents and educators in Louisiana who is fighting alongside you.

  27. I too have two.second graders overwhelmed with homework.They send so much home I often wonder if iam in school or them. The work they send home 9 out of 10 is not something they can do by themselves.We spend 3 hrs plus on homework several nights a week. Leaves no family time and a rushed dinner bathes and bed. My children are just as overwhelmed as I am.This is truely sad.

    Fix this please!

  28. I am not questioning your commitment as a parent, because you obviously care very deeply about your child & what she is going through, but the solution seems glaringly obvious to me, so I have a question for you (& all the other parents in similar situations):

    WHY is your child still attending the school that puts her through this misery each night?

    I have never, WILL never put my children in school at all & am completely opposed to the existence of state-run schools, so the idea that anyone in a free country would send their child to one disturbs me greatly. However, regardless of my personal politics, if ANYONE in ANYPLACE was driving my child to tears on a regular basis they would NOT be in her life anymore.

  29. Your picture broke my heart. I have a Savannah who is very smart and loves to learn. I homeschool her. God bless you for working with her. Common core is awful.

  30. Stacie, I’m sending both you and Savannah hugs. I am not really a “hugger” except to my immediate family, but your love for you daughter and your frustration–and hers–come through loud and clear. I applaud your determination to help Savannah. I am praying that God gives you the wisdom to deal with this difficult situation in a way that will best enable Savannah to use the talents that God gave her. At the same time, I am praying that each of us who commented…and many others who didn’t…will know how best to act to counter this threat not only to our children’s education, but to our country.
    p.s. To the one who commented that homeschoolers don’t need to follow CC…our time is coming. I am sure of it. Homeschooled students are well-known for creativity, intelligence, independent study AND THINKING, hard work, and success. I don’t think for a minute that homeschoolers will be left alone.

    • Susie comment #2: I don’t for a second mean to imply that students who are not homeschooled are not creative, intelligent, etc…., because of course, there are many creative, intelligent, etc people who have not been homeschooled. But most people I know recognize that most homeschooled students stand out in a positive way.

  31. I have not read all the comments. It’s been a long day and I’m tired. But I wanted to comment. First I want to say that when I first saw this picture, my heart broke. I just wanted to hug that sweet little girl and tell her it isn’t her fault. I would have sent her to bed at normal time, written the teacher a note that the homework would not be done. I’ve actually done this more than once when my children were in school. I’m rebellious like that though. Add stupidity like CCSS to the MANY reasons I have been homeschooling for the past 4 school years. The list grows daily it seems. Every heartbreaking story I hear, every child that takes their own life because of bullies or situations like this. Situations where their self esteem is shattered. Where their life turns to a living nightmare because of the stupidity of adults who are in positions of power thinking they can fix what isn’t really broken. What was wrong with the way those of us who graduated in the 80’s(or earlier) learned? I won’t get started on what is going on in Washington DC right now, but let me just say that it’s very obvious no one inside the beltway has any regard for the rest of us. We are their employers. They owe us a fair day’s work, for a fair wage. We are not getting that and I think we should fire all of them. We need people in the Dept. of Education who actually know what they are doing. And, demand that they have the best interest of our children in the forefront. The days of treating America’s children like science experiments must come to a sudden halt. November elections are not that far off. Use your vote as your voice. This junk science can not be tolerated any longer. How many scars should we allow on our children before we demand change? How many children damaged? How many fragile spirits extinguished? It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with CCSS. The result is what matters. Our children matter. Every single one of them.

  32. I thank God that my children are all grown and not forced to go through this. I’ve been trying to alert others about CC on our local radio channel . Because it is claimed to have been started by the Republican Governors Association , people tend to see there is no problem to worry about . Our children are not being tought Cursive hand writing at most schools in our city, wouldn’t you think parents would question this ? I have read from a Missouri Watchdog group that ALL children in private , public and homeschooled situations must pass the same CC test to recieve their diploma. If that’s the case , parents won’t be able to protect their children from this madness. I firmly believe our children are being turned into subservient , compliant global robots to be controlled by the Elite.

  33. I wanted to suggest AMI Montessori education to those who are frustrated with the traditional systems. I have taught in both traditional public, private and gifted schools…and I am currently employed by a small private traditional school which uses the CC (although not in my subject area thanks goodness), but I choose to send my kids to Montessori, which is a huge financial investment, but worth every penny. It is the best decision I made. I am amazed at what my daughters accomplish in a day. They accomplish more in one day than most traditional students accomplish in a month and with much more creativity, passion for learning, outside time, gorgeous cursive penmanship. They also choose their own areas of interest to study, go on educational goings out, etc. ,etc. Talk about love for learning..go observe in an AMI Montessori school (particularly an elementary class) and you will find what you (and your children) are looking for.

  34. Preach on sister!!!! I am a teacher. I see it first hand. I do what I can in the damage control department. It breaks my heart!!!!!!!!
    Hours and hours of homework is destroying the family unit. That is a small part of the big picture!

  35. As a teacher, I completely agree, but you can make your point against Common Core more effectively if you use proper grammar in your opening sentence. Otherwise, you look like the perfect example of a person who should have received the “benefits” of Common Core teaching….just food for thought….

  36. I am a veteran high school history teacher of 16 years, and my husband has been teaching high school history for 22 years. Both of us see many problems with the common core as do our colleagues. We have been fighting this since we learned about it two years ago, but no politician listens to teachers about this. They think we are lazy, complain too much, and just don’t want to be held accountable. What you are all expressing is fair criticism of theCC. If you want this changed, contact your politicians in one massive voice. You have pictures of your children crying while doing homework. Politicians need to see this. They need to hear that parents and grandparents are very angry. Push back. We will continue he fight from our end, but again, no one wants to hear from the people who are actually in the classroom working with the children.

  37. You want to “change” common core….start changing how you view politicians and voting. Too many out their blindly vote one party and never take the time to know who they are voting into power. We all took the time to find out about common core and read this blog but lets see how many people research the politicians that put this HORRIBLE thing into place. Teachers are not lazy, and are mainly viewed that way because of the loud, selfish, manipulative union representation they have. I truly hope people start taking voting seriously as this is a serious repercussion of voting blindly and hoping these people do the right thing….

  38. I wanted to tell you that your one picture was the thing that got me off my bum. Because that was my child, 3 years ago, before we started homeschooling. I remember: explanation requirements for math he did in his head, then agonized over for another hour because he couldn’t come up with ‘work’ to show how he did it. He would cry himself to sleep, then throw up while waiting for the bus. That was my daughter, too, in her own quiet, non-complaining way, as she secretly failed math (and reading) but went bravely to school every morning. I pulled them out just as Common Core was moving in (a coincidence), and I initially had high hopes. Anything had to be better, right? Little did I know then.

    Your little girl is in my heart, I hope things get easier for her and she somehow manages to weather the storm. For her, for mine, for all the kids out there (And the teachers who are just doing their jobs, and the other homeschoolers who are waking up to realize what this means, for all of us), I am doing my part. Time to be on the forefront of the fight.

  39. My 7th grader was assigned this to read in his advanced English class. Do you think it’s because of Common Core because I can’t understand why any teacher would assign something for that grade level. I found it hard to read and I have my JD. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/going-long-going-short/?_r=0

  40. I love you Stacie Tawbush and I love your passion! (and I miss little Miss S!) Here in MO it’s not much different but it is packaged under a different name. I am disgusted by the whole thing. Teachers need time to teach. Younger (Early Childhood and Kindergarten) students need time to explore through PLAY. The government needs to stay out of education and quit dangling these distasteful carrots in front of these ‘educational’ decision makers (and i use that term very loosely) who are completely out of touch with education.

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