We received this letter from a Lake County School District teacher. It is published verbatim, the name of the teacher has been withheld for their safety:
It was nice talking to you this morning. I wish we had more time to discuss the problems with education, there are so many.
Our country has been losing ground to other nations for some time now. Teachers are teaching to a state standardized test and we will continue to lose ground until the government gets back to basics and lets the teachers just teach (but that will never happen).
I promised you a list of things that teachers are being told to do and here it is. I reached out to other teachers and they were very helpful, although they are unlike me and are fearful of speaking out.
After coming out of retirement I was told by my school administration that our county does not use LFS (Learning Focus Strategies) any longer. However in a teacher initiation training I was told by county personnel that we are still using LFS. Bad communication is running rampant throughout our education system.
But I regress, sorry. The list:
- We are told to put a Lesson Essential Question (LEQ) on the board. We have to teach for 10 – 15 minutes and then stop. We are to tell our students to talk to their partners about what they learned. We are to refer to the LEQ when doing this. We repeat this all class period.
- We are told to give the students one hands on project a week, no verbal projects. It is impossible to give them a lesson, directions for a lab and then the lab once a week.
- We are told to time our students when they are sharing what they have learned. They are only allowed to talk about the lesson for no more than 2 minutes.
- We are supposed to talk to our students like they are little children, which to me is talking down to them.
This is just a short list of things.
The standards we have are, to say the least, ridiculous. They are repetitive, difficult to understand and impossible to teach in one year for any one subject. For middle school science we have comprehensive science 1, 2 and 3. Three are 63 standards for CS 1 which is 6th grade. There are 63 standards for CS 2, 7th grade and 61 standards for CS 3, 8th grade.
Teachers are being encouraged to give nothing less than a 50% on a paper even if the student just puts nothing but their name on it, I refuse to do this.
I love teaching and my students have been very successful on the tests and in life. I am a cynic when it comes to the government changing education for the better, it will never happen. There is too much money at stake.
I have taught and currently teach at low income schools, graded F or D by the state. We do not get any extra money from the state, all the extra money goes to the better schools.
I hope this information helps. If you need any more information or have any questions please feel free to contact me. You can use my name on anything you send out if you want. I look forward to hearing from you.
Common Core’s Validation: A Weak Foundation for a Crooked House
Learning Focused Strategies Model
Sol Stern Thinks Common Core Is About “Rich Curriculum”
Exiting the Common Core Memorandum of Understanding