UT Canyons District Teacher: “This is Why Teachers Are Afraid to Speak Out”   9 comments

Utahns Against Common Core receives notes from parents and teachers on a regular basis.  Here is a heartbreaking message from an anonymous teacher in Canyons District:


“We are currently gearing up for our new educator evaluation system called CTESS.  Today I was reading through the evaluation and of the 12 standards 3 require you to show that you are supportive of and actively teaching the “Utah Core Standard”, otherwise known as “Common Core.”  This is why teachers are afraid to speak out. I really am fearful for my job. There have been times when I have wanted to speak up, like recently when attending a district meeting and Common Core came up. The comment was made by a district official that those who were against Common Core were “kooks.”  This is the environment teachers have to work in.  If you disagree, you have no place to turn. I am ready to find another career and get out.”


9 responses to “UT Canyons District Teacher: “This is Why Teachers Are Afraid to Speak Out”

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  1. I teach high school math and have the EXACT same fear and frustration. I started asking our leaders for evidence or documentation that would show CC actually works, ever since they started trying to indoctrinate us 3 years ago, and have been facing their “silent wrath” ever since. Now I just smile and keep my mouth shut.

  2. Hobanr219, thank you for making your comment. I hope that teachers like you and the Canyons District teacher write your feelings and stories, anonymously, and send those testimonies to the state and local school boards, to your legislators, the newspapers, and to blogs like mine that would guest post gladly.

    The line that is being swallowed by so many people is that we all have to love it because “teachers love it” — as if all teachers think alike; as if Common Core’s damages (or benefits) were the same experience for all teachers for all grade levels and for all subjects taught; and as if teachers are so brainless that they only look at the academic picture rather than the entire agenda and how it removes local control and creativity. It’s such a slap in the face to teachers.

    Please, please continue to do what you can to enlighten others. Thank you.

    • The math teachers in my district definitely do not love it! Basically all last year they designed all our trainings to focus on the “rigor circle.” They even paid us to attend after school PDs. They brought in various CC experts from local colleges and universities. It was sad/funny to watch as those attending the paid PDs slowly dwindled month by month from 20 down to just 2 of us at the end of the school year. No love at all, even when they paid us! All year I made suggestions to improve the PDs but our leaders stubbornly stuck to the hard-line training they were receiving from the state and basically force-fed us until we gagged. That is the wonderful result of implementing CC math in our district. Whenever I questioned their approach I was either ignored or given the evil eye! Whoever has said that CC is not a curriculum is wildly mistaken. We were asked to fine-tune our lessons and activities to match the core and its Standards for Mathematical Practices, and given rigid curriculum guidelines to follow. I have emailed our state leaders but they don’t seem to get it.

  3. The state superintendent has threatened teachers’ licenses if we “suggest or encourage” opting out of the testing. And Davis District has added 7 hours of social studies testing and at least 4 hours of world language testing this year too, to add to the 10 hours of testing already mandated by SAGE. And teachers cannot say anything. Thank you to parents for speaking out.

    Threatened out West
  4. Even our union leader in Davis is pro common core. He believes that our evaluation system is methods for teachers to take charge of their career. He cannot see how utterly dangerous and subjective it really is. Our evaluation is tightly tied to the relationship we have with our administration. In Utah our rights to due process were eviserated by the state legislature. Every teach would be wise to be afraid, very afraid!

    • Even our STATE UEA leader is pro Common Core. Did you get the email this summer from Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh asking all UEA members to write to the state Board of Education telling them how wonderful Common Core is? I was sickened. I emailed Ms. Gallagher-Fishbaugh telling her that I would do no such thing, but we are being hung out to dry by our unions when it comes to Common Core.

      Threatened out West
  5. How did I miss that? I find it truly amazing that they can take my dues and then push for policies that actually undermine me as a teacher!

  6. I am a retired teacher. Even before Common Core we too often had to teach to the code number – which was tied to the state proficiency test – instead of teaching to life. EXAMPLE: state mandated 4 pages a day in foreign language textbook. We could not stop to talk about a local emergency in Spanish because that was not one of the next 4 pages. The students would have eagerly learned a lot of new Spanish in order to talk about a really important happening that affected people of all ages in the community. That’s LIFE !

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