To My Students: ‘I Love You and Believe in You’

The following is a guest post from my friend, Meg Norris, who has an important message for her students. (Grab a Kleenex.  I did.)

To My Students,

I did not return to the classroom this year and I want to apologize.  I am truly sorry for having left you.  It was the hardest decision I have ever made. I want you to understand why I left.  It had nothing to do with you.  I still love you and believe in you.  You are still amazing and you can do anything you want to do.  I did not give up on you.  I left to fight for you.

I saw you struggling with Common Core skills.  Even with the new curriculum from the district, no matter how I broke it down for you I could see you didn’t understand.  I saw the frustration on your faces.  And when time ran out and we had to take the county’s test (on the county’s schedule), I saw the tears roll from your eyes.  You failed.  I saw you missing school more days than normal.  I saw you with long sleeves covering up the cutting scars on your arms.  I saw how the sparkle in your eyes dimmed. I saw the small bald spot on your head where you had pulled out your hair.  And it wasn’t just in my class.  You hated going to math.  You came early everyday for homework help, but it didn’t make any difference.  You still could not understand.

I want you to know none of this is your fault.  It is not you.  I know the school, the county and the state call it “rigor.”  That is a horrible word.  Look it up in the dictionary for me.  Rigor is for dead people.  You are not failing because it is too hard.  You are not failing because you are not working hard enough.  You are not failing because of your teachers.  You are failing because Common Core was not written by teachers. Common Core was not written to help you.  Let me explain why this hurts you so much.

Your brain, as it develops, can only learn certain things at certain times.  Common Core is trying to force you to learn things your brain is not ready to learn.  Researchers for decades have found that the things Common Core requires you to do are impossible until you reach high school, at the earliest.  No matter what your teachers do to get you to learn it, you aren’t going to be able to.  There is nothing wrong with you.  Your brain was designed perfectly.  Common Core standards were not.

Common Core was written by businessmen trying to make money off of you.  You and your learning are a grand experiment in corporate profits.  If you fail at school, if your teachers fail to teach you, these corporations can sell more books, workbooks, tests, software and technology to schools and even to your parents to try at home.  None of it will work.  These same businessmen want to convince states to let them and their companies take over your schools.  Your parent’s tax dollars would then go to these companies.  Over $600 billion is spent on education every year in this country.  This money should go to your education, not to private companies. It is very similar to what was done to prisons several years ago.

Common Core is the first time in the history of this country that a privately written and copyrighted plan has become public policy.  There is no research to back it and it has never been tested.  Politicians are pushing it because these corporations are giving them money to push it.

When I left, I met with members of your Board of Education and told them what was happening.  They ignored me.  I went to the local newspaper and they ignored me too.  When I spoke to the state Senate education committee they dismissed me as a political nut job.  When I came back to chaperone your fall dance I was told I was “no longer one of you” and I could not come in because of my position on Common Core.  Ghandi once said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”  We will win.  We will win for you and every student after you.  This is not political.  This is for the future leaders of our country.  These corporations don’t want to teach you how to think.

It is time for you to talk to your parents. Help them understand that opting you out of state testing will protect your personal information as well as stop the data that is being used to unfairly judge you and your teachers. Schools where more than 80% of kids have been opted out are cancelling these stressful tests that measure nothing.  There is a new test coming to replace the CRCT, which is why politicians like Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge want to keep Common Core.  Have your parents demand a portfolio of your work be kept and that your hard work be used to decide if you should go on to the next grade, not a random test.  Any test not written by and graded by your teachers should never be allowed in the classroom.

Please do not worry about me.  I am strong and people have called me worse names and banned me from much better places. Standing up for what is right is not always the easy thing.  I knew that when I left my classroom.  I have 32,000 other teachers from all over the country who are standing with me. I have education experts and child psychologists standing with me.  I have politicians standing with me.  I have famous authors standing with me.  And the group is growing.

Just this week I got an email from Judy Blume, author of famous children’s classics like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blubber, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Forever, and Tiger Eyes. She shared with me that she was a horrible test-taker.  She is very grateful that she is not in school taking the kinds of tests you are taking.  Can you imagine how horrible it would be if our favorite authors gave up because they could not do well on standardized tests that meant nothing?  I don’t want to find out.

Talk to your parents and let them know what is happening in your classrooms.  Every time you take a test or a survey, tell your parents.  Be brave and keep making me proud.  You can be anything you want to be. I am always here for you.

Mrs. Meg Norris, Ed.S.

7th Grade (former) teacher




Meg Norris is a doctoral candidate in education and a certified teacher in Georgia. After 18 months with Common Core in her classroom her observations compelled her to walk away from her dream job of teaching to fight against the implementation of Common Core and high stakes testing. She was banned from her former school because of her stance against Common Core.


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  2. Vickie S. says:

    This post is much too melodramatic for me to take seriously! However, for the sake of argument I’ll believe the unlikely claim that her entire class began to suddenly mutilate their bodies in response to Common Core. I can’t imagine leaving my students if they were in such a dire state. My own students, though much younger, have been excelling under Common Core. Granted, my districts educators have always held high standards for our students. Despite being a title 1 school with many at risk students, our kids are very capable of problem solving and higher level thinking. I think its less a student problem and more a teacher problem.I will say that it has required an extraordinary amount of extra work on the part of us teachers. I was born to teach though and I’m not going to run away from what I love just because it’s gotten difficult.

    • Exactly what are you saying Vicky.? I love teaching too… I also was born to teach and for you to imply that teachers are upset because of the workload is very insulting…. I as well as my entire staff work relentlessly in a district that has over 50 percent at risk students and we are not provided the support needed to be successful…. We are set up for failure. Ex… Grade k teacher — 25 kids– no aide, run down unhealthy dirty building, students that only eat when they are at school…. I could go on and on and you think the reason teachers are upset about cc is workload???? Please rethink……

  3. John Young says:

    Reblogged this on Transparent Christina.

  4. I can’t understand why I find this so fascinating. It was so enthralling that I decided to see what the consensus was from the previous posters by just counting the ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ entries for Mr. Greene. As of this posting I have counted the following statistics:

    Mr Greene – 16 thumbs up votes, 196 thumbs down votes.

    I am not a college graduate, nor do I have fancy titles or salutations attached to my name. I am, however, able to count. It seems that the vast majority of posters/readers on this thread do not agree with your opinions regarding the Common Core subject Mr. Greene. I would hope this would compel you to re-evaluate or at least revisit the data that you used to form your opinion. You are obviously a well educated, well spoken person who has (IMO) attempted to sway the readership of this thread to your belief in the Common Core system and failed. Originally as I read through this entire page of posts I developed a negative opinion of you as a person and for that I apologize (I know you don’t know me but it feels like the right thing to say). It would be very easy to resort to name calling which, if this post doesn’t already display it, would prove my lack of a college education but I’m not going to go down that road. I would just like to say this to you Sir:
    Since you are responsible for teaching our children please take the time to read back over this page and see if there is any possibility that you could be wrong on this issue. I cannot cite examples because I am not an educator, but most of the teachers who have commented on this issue seem to disagree with you.

    • hi, yeah… i’m an astronomical genius, public opinion is generally very skewed from reality, and correct answers to problems.

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      long post…

      Russell, this is a column against the CCS on a site against the CCS.
      It is not likely that someone in support of the CCS will get many up votes no matter how well their argument (It would be like a liberal winning on Townhall and posters admitting it or a conservative on Huffington Post. Also, a single individual can go through and mark me up on every post or down on every post – in this case . Ultimately, I think thumbs up and down are interesting but the actual post is what matters). An ignorant post that started like this: “Jeremy — you opening sentence— “I am a teacher” is what is wrong with the profession….”got two thumbs up. And a father complained that his 4th grader had to read The Raven to which I replied: “The Raven is supposed to be for the grade 9-10 reading levels according to CCS. See appendix b.” This factually accurate, helpful, and short statement got two thumbs down. Huh?

      As to a college education, I don’t see what that has to do with anything. A majority of my friends from high school finished high school and no more. They are more informed on many things than most college graduates, including myself.

      I think you are right to say that you cannot cite examples, because there really weren’t any that held up – to be specific I was asking about ELA CCS (and not math which I thought had better examples). Although I am trying to win my argument, I was and am here as much to learn and possibly even change my mind – happens in discussions with students all the time. I have to say that I think I have shared much better information and examples than I have received in the comments. This is unfortunate for me. And strange, with people like Kris asserting that many countries are changing from national standards and then not sharing them. Even Facebook feeds. I am open to learning a lot, but there does need to be proof. Many posters stating that the standards are not developmentally appropriate and then not posting them. I linked to our reading specialist that says they are developmentally appropriate and organizations like UDL and CAST (as well as the APA) that focus on making sure as many students as possible can get a general education that says they are. It seems that every time I posted evidence other posters would DAMN THE SOURCE while not confronting whether or not what was written or asserted was actually true. Their main argument is that their experience should trump the majority of teachers that are for it. Sorry. I am one of them and our experience means as much as theirs does.

      Again, I want every capable student in America to be able to do what CCS wants them to:

      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2a Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2b Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

      The author stated that the 7th grade ELA standards (not necessarily these specific ones) might be appropriate for middle class white students, but not for others. This is sad. And must change. Perhaps teacher training should focus on this? Simply put: if students can’t do what the CCS asks they will be, in general, left behind.

      I have taken a few things away, I do feel that perhaps the Kindergarten standards could be removed while keeping the rest of the ELA standards 1-12. Still not a fan of lots of testing. In fact, anything that lasts more than 8 hours in a year I would be against. This belief which did not change, was confirmed by posters against the Core.

      • As a Kindergarten teacher, I very much appreciate your last paragraph. The expectations placed upon five-year-olds is continuously being increased. However, most of them come to school without prior school experiences and need to be taught how to behave in school, how to use scissors, how to tie their shoes, how to go to the bathroom by themselves, etc…but we’re supposed to teach them how to write persuasive pieces, add and subtract fluently within five, and read with comprehension. Do not get me wrong – I love teaching Kindergarten. However, I have seen so many areas this year where students need additional help and we don’t have the time and resources to provide it for them. We need to take time just to help strengthen their fine motor skills and give their brains a break. I see the pros and cons of the Common Core and I am not writing for or against it. I am just writing about the need for less “rigor” in Kindergarten.

        • Dear Emily,

          Your experience totally speaks to the needs of Kindergarten children. I was a teacher for 30 years, and my years spent with Kindergarten students were some of my favorite times. Last year, I decided to volunteer in a local Kindergarten class — partly to help the teacher and partly because I was missing the children. I was sad to see that their “curriculum” had changed so much; it was basically what we used to teach in 1st grade.

          Some of the kids were managing fairly well, especially those who had had preschool and extra help at home or were a little older. However, most of the children were struggling. Those who did not know their letters and sounds as well as basic math concepts using numbers were behind before they even started. There was no time to work on fine motor skills or basic socialization skills, and they were being tested on a regular basis for academic knowledge. The children who were not ready for this academic approach were either acting out or saying things like, “I’m not smart enough to do this,” or “This is too hard!”

          We need to have teaching materials and standards that are age-appropriate and developmentally aligned for the students. Trying to “hurry up” the process is counterproductive because the majority of the children are not developmentally ready and experience at lot of frustration. Kindergarten should be a time to experience success and joy in learning. Give the kids a break! Thanks for your letter, Emily.

          Sandra Wickham

          • develops poor self early on and they feel from that point on they ” are not smart enough” or ” not as good as the other kids” that carries on through highschool. is that right?

        • Emily, thank you for your wonderful post. I subbed in kindergarten the other day. I love those kids; they are precious, earnest, eager, innocent, willing, curious, and so tender. Why must the GREAT BRAINS of the mystical Education Think Tank (Bill Gates & Friends) think these ‘young shoots’ should be put on a tread mill? Have we honestly forgotten what it means to be a child? In my mind, an enriched learning environment for kindergarteners should be GENTLE learning, not RIGOROUS learning. Relaxed learning not regimented, conveyor belt learning. The Joy and Fun of learning should be central.

          When I gathered them around me to read a book about autumn, I took my time, showing them the pictures, the wondrous colors, and asked them questions. How can you rush this? Why should I be preoccupied with time management and what is next, when one of them would want to tell us about the amazing amount of acorns falling from their oak tree and landing on their dad’s car. Do acorns hurt the car? Why are there so many acorns? How many different types of Oak Trees are there? Do you have a favorite leaf shape? Should each of us bring in a leaf to class tomorrow?” Oh, let’s hurry up so we can get all our subject matter done. Really? Why the rush?

          Children want to finish their work; “I haven’t finished yet, Mr. D”. Yet I had a lesson plan to follow, and of course I wanted to honor the teacher’s subject matter goal. See, I believe it is about individuals learning; we do not teach classes for the sake of CLASSES; it is for the sake of each child, one at a time; that is how they learn. Children at times should be allowed to learn at their own pace and that is where the Art of teaching comes in.

          One of my concerns is that Common Core relegates the “Art of teaching” to the back of the school bus. I believe when the Art of Teaching takes precedence over the Science of Teaching we can facilitate the development of a well rounded, confident, capable, and happy child. Let’s not forget about a child’s happiness.

    • Teachers are locked into the system and don’t want to lose their jobs; afraid to expose themselves to an institutional mindset based on administrative decisions made by counting little pencil marks in ovals that simply do not determine anyone’s ability. Standardized Testing is developed by PhD’s who stay up all night getting drunk together, making up questions that cannot possibly be answered. That’s just what they do for fun. It’s downright evil.

  5. Jeremy Greene says:

    I thought this was an excellent and accurate article on why the CCS are not overdone or underdone, but more like Goldilocks standards…

    Good standards aren’t prescriptive, but they’re not agnostic, either
    Kathleen Porter-Magee
    November 01, 2013

    “In the case of the Common Core, the standards say, for instance, that fourth-grade students should “determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text” and that second graders should “estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.”

    These are outcomes—outcomes that demonstrate no preference for traditional pedagogy over constructivism, even if we at Fordham have our own preferences. They are outcomes that do not indicate how long you spend on particular topics, what order they should be taught, and on. Nor do the standards provide sample practice items or guidance about how to introduce or reinforce the concepts and content behind these expectations.

    And so, when we say that Common Core do not prescribe curriculum, we mean very simply that those decisions—decisions about what books will be taught, about what writing assignments students will do, about how to introduce concepts, about how to build knowledge, about whether to use discovery learning or traditional methods—are made by local leaders and teachers.”

    For full article:

    • Fordham was paid big bucks to “evaluate” Common Core. Their crony opinion means nothing:

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        They were paid and their research is still good.
        Actually, when it comes to researching standards there is not a close second that I know of.
        No one, has even attempted to mimic nor surpass their studies on various state standards. Or if they have, I do not know about it.

        So, their opinion is correct (above) even if it means nothing.
        And their reports are nonpareil. I wish they weren’t. It would be nice to have four or five different metrics the size and scope of Fordham’s on state standards but they don’t exist.

      • Would you rather that teachers who are required to add something more to their plate not be given compensation? Teachers are already under-paid. When the state or national government adds something additional to their already incredibly busy plates, they had better make it worth their while.

    • Don’t standards drive curriculum? Since teachers are now assessed on the standardized tests, aren’t teachers being forced to teach to the test?

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        Kelly, they would be forced to teach to the standard, but they could choose the content they wanted. The CCS does have texts they feel are appropriate for each grade to guide reading level. But the CCS is more about what a student can do with information, not specific about what information it is to be taught (except that it is grade appropriate).

        If you look through the CCS or just my posts of specific standards you should see that there is more than one way to skin this cat.

  6. @momof9 – You are spot on. This is not about education, its about “indoctrination”. It’s about the dreaded NWO, one-world universal rule by an elite few. Common Core is just part of that thrust. People like Jeremy either knowingly or unknowingly become part of the machine. Make NO mistake about it, there is a concerted, tactical and well proven process in the works. Someone in Germany back in the late 30’s and early 40’s adopted the same philosophy. Lest you think this is some “right-wing” conspiracy nut thought going on here, let me assure you that both Sr. and Jr. Bush both are part of the same group. They are patient, looking to achieve ends over decades of time, slowly tearing away at the moral, societal, and industrial fabric that once made the US the world’s strongest economy (while still very flawed). They fear ONE thing. Ironically, guess what that is? Educated people :-) Oh yes, an educated slave is a dangerous slave. Your children in their eyes, are their children. Look at the laws passed in this country just over the last few years and tell me that I am wrong. Do you even realize that parents now in some towns are NOT allowed to pack lunch for THEIR child?? These same criminals and pedophiles (strong word? do the research for yourself) are working round-the-clock to strip parental authority and give it to the Federal or State governments. I ask one simple thing of you….please, please please stop listening and watching the “state-run” mainstream media and start researching even what is publicly available from the government! Nothing secret, look at what they have already done, what they are already doing. Education means teaching our children how to logically reason for themselves. Not indoctrinating them or creating drones that follow even what I want my children to believe. They will choose for themselves, but by God’s grace I WILL allow them to see the world for what it truly is, to see themselves as the beautiful creation that God made them (Psalm 139), and I will NOT willingly sit by and become a slave to this tyrannical machine that is dismantling the great country I grew up believing in as a child.
    Common Core? Oh, its just a small part of the plan. Educate yourself.

    • Pete, don’t educated people cite references for their research? You know, that little thing called a bibliography – where you tell us that you have some basis for your assertions beyond your own wild-eyed opinions?

      • Oh please Vickie … you are just another of the sheeple that believe what the evil government tells you. Common Core is dangerous. Government needs to stay the hell out of the classroom and allow Teachers who really CARE to teach the correct way. The way it’s been for years. Just look back over time and see the wonderful minds that came about from GOOD TEACHING – long before EVIL Common Core came into being. Common Core is NOT teaching, it is corporate … it stinks like trash – Common Core will be the down fall of education as we knew it. Teachers must not be forced to REGULATE … and children should not be forced to STRUGGLE. Praise the Lord above that my children are grown young men with brilliant minds. COMMON CORE was not around then, nor in my day. Common Core is a way for the government to take CONTROL of our teachers and our children. If Common Core keeps up, we are going to end up with very young children who become depressed and withdrawn and who no longer want to even attend school. School should be fun and a way to learn – not something that some rogue government shoves down our throats. Kindergarten is a time where our children learn motor skills, socialization and begin to develop other skills in order to move on to the next grade. I hate the thoughts of Common Core and more over, I hate the thoughts of young children rather then having fun and learning the way they ought to, instead they are stressed to the max. Forcing a young child who is not fully ready for ” academia ” is a dangerous ground to trod upon. Bottom line Common Core is ” Indoctrination ” and I will fight on this and I will urge all parents to fight against Common Core. It is not teaching at all. It is pure evil. I clearly already see some brainwashing on this thread, another reason I am glad my sons are grown and are smart and well educated, and clearly smart enough to make sure that their children do not fall into the Common Core trap. Keep Federal and State Government out of our schools and let the teachers who really care teach and give their ALL to the children……who are suppose to be the FUTURE of AMERICA.

        • This is a paranoid, anti-government screed. Save us all from this. Inasmuch as I am a critic of the CCSS, your critique focuses too much on government, and that is misplaced.

  7. I’m not an educator but this letter is disturbing. What can parents or concerned citizens do?

    • Home school… Opt out of core testing… Write letters… get active…Look at ALL your childs school work and be aware of the crap they are serving.

      • Martha: I understand the urge to withdraw them and home school but the truth is it’s coming to homeschooling too so I would urge you to stand your ground….OCCUPY your public school and DEMAND that they stop abusing your child. Parents have a very strong voice, they just need to start exercising it. Talk about it to all the other parents…you will find out you are not alone…and once you have a group together start taking action. The only thing more powerful than the Corp. Ed Reformer’s money is the voters voices. This is a rabbit hole that you are starting down Martha, but the fight we have on our hands now is nothing compared to the mess we will have to clean up once the damage is done if education is allowed to continue down this path. If you are interested check out the Badass Parents Association on FB, they may help you get started.

  8. Marlys Roos says:

    You are so right. Even homeschoolers are falling for the top down rhetoric first and not building a firm foundation for their students. Classical education has worked for the almost 3000 years since it was written, and even longer than that if you read the Old Testament.

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      There is no contradiction in teaching a classical curriculum and meeting the ELA CCS. In fact, they mesh quite well. See the reading, writing, and speaking standards for yourself and see if you agree: Drop down standards are on the left tool bar.

      • Classical education is NOT content, rather methodology, which CC advocates clamor won’t ever be imposed. Also, one cannot look @ CC in a vacuum…a revamped Goals/America 2000, it was flown in under Race to the Top and all of its tentacles which in part mandated the joining of PARCC or SBAC, and “assessments” to ensure that the standards are being taught. (more teaching to the test). The Common Core Toolkit (21st Century Skills, etc) is clear: standards drive assessments which drive curricula. Most teachers will tell you that’s how it works. If you still believe the old “If you like your local curricula, you can keep it,” line given the lies of the last decade, then I have some shiny new ANWR drilling permits I’d like to sell you…

        These could be the best standards in the world (they’re not), and they wouldn’t be worth what it will cost this country both figuratively and literally. Daddy Corebuck$ (Bill Gates) himself said “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” There’s a video out there somewhere, Google it.

        Private/Homeschoolers may have a few years, but they are not immune as this is a coercion in… 1) Publishers are already changing their content; 2) if you live in a state that mandates the state assessment to receive a HS diploma, you will be coerced into alignment, 3) plus the developer of Common Core (non-teacher David Coleman) is now the President of the College Board. His first priority was to start aligning the SAT’s/ACT’s with Common Core, which brings up a great question: why are K-12 “standards” driving college entrance exams? Should be the other way around.

        RttT/Common Core is the shotgun with which progressives will finally force into submission those who dare educate their children apart from the state, and sadly, Jeb Bush, Huckabee, and either advocacy or silence from other crony Republicans (INCLUDING HSLDA), is the reason we cannot get it repealed.

        “He alone who owns the youth, gains the future.” ~Hitler

        • Jeremy Greene says:

          Hitler? Really? To me that’s a red flag that shows me that you do not know history.

          I am familiar with classical education and two schools in my area have classical academies in the high schools. I cannot see where CCS does not comfortably allow classical education to fit or the classical academies to continue.

          If you don’t understand why: “K-12 [College and Career Readiness] “standards” driving college entrance exams?” You have not done the research you need to understand why they were created. Too many graduates were coming into college needing remedial courses. The new standards had a lot of input – what you see is what they want, generally.

          Gates is right, of course. A good game plan is better than a bad one. But it’s the players that make it work – mainly teachers and students.

          • RttT/Common Core has nothing to do with empowering teachers or students.

            And yes, unequivocally Hitler. Look for the “Purple Haze” of your non-revisionist [lost] history notes in your brown shirt.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Trying to figure out which was scarier. AdminMom calling me a Nazi or someone giving her a thumbs up. I will assume she gives her own posts thumbs up.

  9. Joan Cassels says:

    My heart is very sad that this

  10. Talk about “core”….. this lady has character solid to the core. American students need her in a class room!!!

  11. 666threesixes666 says:

    i think making children relentlessly curious is better policy than the brainwash / testing paradigm.

    • I have never heard that phrase; “relentlessly curious”. I think you ought to write a book using some variation of that theme. Your comment says so much in a few words. It sum’s up my objection to the Common Core concept of education. Learning is a natural phenomenon in life. Children love to know and understand things; however, they like to participate in the process of their own “WONDER” . Where is their time for wonder, if virtually every minute of the day is programmed? Fact is, if the teachers don’t program every minute, they might miss some “content” in the prescribed curriculum. What if they miss the child’s natural curiosity in the process? What if they mute the child’s desire to learn? I hope this movement grows. There are so many thoughtful comments on this thread.

  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful perceptions of many of the shortcomings of common core standards as you have experienced them in the classroom. I am very concerned about the total programing of children by corporate interests. ‘Busy Work’ taken to the nth degree. It seems Common Core has progressed at great neck speed without quality research, and it does not seem the public has any clue of what the consequences are of adopting a copywritten curriculum. Some changes could be imposed that may be virtually impossible to reverse. You are a patriot for the needs and best interests of children. I encourage you to persevere in your mission to advocate for the best interests of children; which is truly in the best interest of our country. Education is starting to feel like a bureacracy; a system of control rather than an enriched learning environment where individuals can discover their inspirations and develop their knowledge based upon a love of learning, rather than comprehensive tests, that have no concept of the side affects of teaching to the test. If I can help in any way please contact me.

  13. As good or bad, or appropriate or inappropriate for a particular group of students as the standards may be, they are not our biggest problems. The standards are copyrighted by the NGA and CCSS and be changed by them at any time. Bill Gates says the standards drive the curriculum and the testing. He owns much of the technology. He is partnered with Pearson who owns most of the curriculum. And so on. Given the world views of the key players, their economic interests, and the fact that all decisions are now made on the federal/corporate level, not by parents, teachers, schools, and local districts, Common Core is a disaster. Teachers have been quitting, and we have been hearing their stories for several months. Now parents are writing about the damage to their children. Meg’s sad letter is the first I’ve seen from a teacher to her children. How much worse will this get before America rises up and says No More Common Core!

  14. Jeremy,
    In the interest of full disclosure, I will probably not re-visit this comment board, and so my question is essentially rhetorical, but why must local control be surrendered? If the common core state standards are so good, why did the feds take the carrot and stick approach they did? (You of course know that the carrot that was dangled was Race to the Top money, and the stick was a waiver from the now impossible to meet No Child Left Behind standards.) Why not just put the standards out there and let people adopt them on their merits? Perhaps there weren’t enough merits.

    Oh, and I teach math and have read the ccs for the courses I teach and more. They aren’t better than what we dropped and the idea of loosing our local control scares me. The whole situation is hurting my students, not helping.

    One last rhetorical science question: Would you be more likely to have great break throughs from a system of 50 laboratories working more closely with their research subjects or from one laboratory working less closely with the research subjects. (I don’t mean to imply our students are simply research subjects, but some people seem to view them as that, or worse, “human capital.”)

    One final thought: We all like to learn and improve our practices, but the best teachers resent being told what they MUST do.

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      Malin, local control does not have to be surrendered. To adopt the standards is a choice usually at the state level. There are 5 states not participating. Soon there may be more. (The carrot and stick argument seems a little weak. Why do they do this for buying a house?)

      Malin, I read the ELA standards the day they came out. They have merit. Believe me, as someone who had by then read 20 or so state standards and lives in MA.

      Yes, you can see I don’t pretend to know if the math are good or not.

      The science question is as you probably already know a bit off. The rubber will hit the road in the classroom. So we will have 3 million labs. And it will actually be easier to incorporate what is done in a lab in CA in the future to a lab in MA and vice versa under the new system than the old.

      A last thought: The ELA CCS do not tell a teacher how to do their job just what skills need to be achieved in the grade. ‘Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.’ George Patton

  15. I was born in 1943…When I began school our Kindergarten was 1/2 day. In my town this is when we were taught colors, ABCs, and numbers. Not just to say them but to write them as well. It seems my town had decided to change how the classes were made up as well….near the end of kindergarten we were tested for 1st grade. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned what that test was actually for. My first grade classes were divided into groups, we had 3 teachers and each had a max of 20 students. The groups were made up of, fast to learn, normal learning, and those who needed extra help learning, this 3rd class had 2 teachers.
    Every year we were tested for the following year. The division of learning took us all the way to our Freshman year of HS. I must add here that on some occasions a classmate would change teachers during school year which could be temporary or until the next end of year testing.
    Ask a 6th grader of today about WWII, ask them what area of the United States did Japan attack first and I guarantee you’ll be told the wrong answer. AND is not Pearl Harbor..
    You might be thinking that the kids in group 1 would lord it over the other 2 groups and you would be very wrong…I for one figured out or so I thought how to get out of group 1 with the tons of homework that group 2 didn’t seem to have. I purposefully failed that year end test. Another note here, we were expected to help anyone who was having trouble with a subject or subjects….
    Was very glad when my granddaughter began Kindergarten to see her go all day AND to have homework already. Her father’s (my son) Kindergarten 1/2 day was a time of play and singing as the teachers were not allowed to teach them letters, colors, numbers, or how to even write their own name! This was in 1974.

    What this teacher is telling us here makes sense to me, helps me understand now why the teachers are teaching for that test and not as I see it deviating from it. We were told BTW that teacher’s jobs were on the line if their class fails test and is for this reason they concentrate on teaching “to the test”.
    Thank you for this article and for opening my eyes.

    • Jackie,
      I was born about the same time, 1942. Grew up in Denver. It was considered the experimential center for public education. I was living with an Aunt and Uncle when I entered kindergarten in small town in Kansas then moved to another small town with my mom and dad to start 1st grade. During that year my family moved to Denver. My moving from school to school seemed to not be a positive begging for me emotionally. Difficulty in assimilating to school structure. Phonics were being taught in 1st grade. But by 2nd grade Denver schools divided to start teaching by ‘sight and sound’. And they decided to divide our class up by groups, like Jackie mentioned but we originally were divided within our classroom as group A, B, and C. This was quit a stigma to say the least and didn’t realize it’s impact until it was parents day and one of my classmate announced when I was called on to read out loud, “Oh she is in the C group that’s the dumbbell group”. That was the first and last time my mother ever visited any of my classes. Embarrassed is putting it mildly for the both of us. These groups continued until we moved to a different county outside of Denver and I started Jr High school. The stigma stayed with me throughout my schooling. I skipped college prep courses thinking I wasn’t smart enough. Even my mother said if I wanted to go to college I would have to work to save for it she wasn’t going to waste money on it. I did just that worked every vacation while in school and worked the year after graduation to save enough for at least my first year. I had applied to three colleges I thought I could afford to go to. One was a teachers college. I was accepted to two and chose one but told them I would have to wait a year to afford it. My grandfather on my Dad’s side knew I was paying for it myself and offered to help since my mother refused to and he continued to supplement my funding until I dropped out during my student teaching. I realized I just didn’t want to be a teacher of special ed as I knew I didn’t have the patients one needs to be in this field. But less than 10 years later after I married and had a son in kindergarten I enrolled at UCLA and graduated with only two B’s and all A’s except for one C that I contested. Took me 5 years to complete but I owed it to myself that I wasn’t ever going to be left with the stigma of being in the dumbbell group.
      The supposed educators are not looking at the whole picture of the damage they do to our young minds and how they treat us as human beings. If you liable a child at a young age you can be life altering to that child. No child should be put through such thoughtlessness by our teaching systems that just don’t work. We are not test tubes. Denver dropped the program but damage had showed up and I am sure I wasn’t the only child that fell through their trial and error system in being a poor reader that effected all my studies. Today I have books stacked by my bedside and never leave home without one in my handbag. Schools need to go back to the basics of Reading and the teaching the love of reading. Spelling, writing and arithmetic in the early grades. Plain and simple, learn the ground rules then what is to follow you should have a good foundation to build from.

      • Cheryl, I THINK that going back to the basics is what CC is all about. I’ve been doing a lot of research and have read the standards, and that is what I am taking away from it.

    • Audrey Young says:

      How fortunate you were to attend a school system back then that assisted the slow learners. I went to kindergarten in 1961, and my brother in 1960. He was eleven months older than me (November bday) and struggled. I had an October bday (one of youngest in my class) and loved school, my teachers, and learning. Needlesstosay, I excelled. My brother ended up being held back; thus, we were in the same grade until graduation in 1974. Although my mother and father worked with us on our homework at home, they did not show for parent teacher meetings. I actually had a teacher in elementary school (and obviously I never forgot this misplaced comment) ask me, a child, why I was so smart and my brother struggled. How wld I hv known? As an adult I wld say to her, isn’t that your job to find out? So, my brother was passed from grade to grade with Ds and some Cs. What a contrast. When I went to college I wanted to be a teacher due to my brother’s experiences (not so good) and my wonderful experiences. I attended Eastern Michigan University (a teaching school). Being the first generation to attend college, my parents could not guide me much nor offer much encouragement. Surprisingly, Eastern’s counselors discouraged entrance into the field of Education saying students wld hv to relocate to Texas. Another friend I have found out had this same experience. This was very discouraging to a young woman who had only been out of Michigan to Ohio’s Cedar Point so I did not pursue what should have been my passion. Thus, after years not in the field of Education, I am finally a substitute teacher doing what I wanted to do in the first place!! I always grieve for my brother that he was not in today’s school where I have heard stories where students like my brother get much more assistance. To think how his life could have been so very different!

  16. When my son started crying every day because of Math, it was time to pull him out. For me it was painfully obvious, he was not ready (at 6 years old)
    for the standards. How many ways do you have to write on paper that 2 + 2 = 4?

    • I agree. I was teaching common core in 2nd grade. It was terrible! These kids didn’t understand what I was trying to get them to do or say! They should show that they know how to get the answer, not explain it ten different ways at a higher level …they aren’t ready for higher order thinking before they’ve been taught at the foundational understanding level.

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        Stacy, I finally went over and checked the math curriculum.

        What exact standards do you consider the higher order thinking skills HOTS for 2nd grade?

        Grade 2 Overview

        Operations and Algebraic Thinking
        Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
        Add and subtract within 20.
        Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication.

        Number and Operations in Base Ten
        Understand place value.
        Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.

        Measurement and Data
        Measure and estimate lengths in standard units.
        Relate addition and subtraction to length.
        Work with time and money.
        Represent and interpret data.

        Reason with shapes and their attributes.

        Or is it in ELA?

        • Jeremy….. I will reply for Stacy … She is more mature than I and won’t take your evil bait…. Children in second grade … For the most part…… 6 and 7 year olds can’t articulate in words how they solve a mathematic equation ….

  17. This IS a political issue. Common Core is much more of a problem than I think most realize and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s not just about poor teaching and testing methods. It’s about indoctrination, changing America and our future. We are headed for an America that very closely resembles Nazi Germany. It’s not about winning or loosing, students are suffering while we are trying to put a stop to this nonsense. It’s time for parents who are not too far gone, who actually care about their children, and the future of America to take action. Imagine if more parents home schooled their children, THAT would make a difference in how many capable educated youth we have to keep fighting for all that makes America great. Teach your children about what is going on in the country, about the past, about how to keep America great. Your children sure won’t learn about that in public schools now days. The only way to fight against this is to inform yourself on what is REALLY happening (which means finding out for yourself and not just believing what you read in the newspapers paid off by the Obama Administration). And taking action by informing others, speak up as Miss Norris did, we need more teachers to do that. By preparing your children for what is happening by homeschooling and teaching them how to protect themselves and fight back. They want to indoctrinate your children to believe and value the things they do. WELL MY CHILDREN ARE MINE, AND I WILL TEACH THEM WHAT I DEEM IMPORTANT, I WILL BE THE MENTOR IN THEIR LIVES AND NOT HAND THAT OVER THAT RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GOVERNMENT. “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15.

    • My mother was born in 1901, went as far as 6th grade. When I was in high school she helped me with my homework !!! There were 13 kids in my family. Out of 13 only 3 graduated from high school….I was one of them. It was a fight for me to do that !!!! Never enough time to do the homework between babysitting, working at home, trying to work for spending money. I went to a neighborhood school that had K through 8 th grade, and we walked to school. That is when the older kids watched out for the younger ones….not beat them up !!!! That was a time when everyone knew each other, brother, sister, mother, and father would really speak to each other……no phone, TV, computer for distraction !!!!!
      When we did get a phone ( I was 12 ) it was for emergencies !!! I came across many teachers who told me right in front of the others kids how stupid I was !!!! It just so happened that teacher the next day was in my homeroom and mentioned to the homeroom teacher (right in front of the other kids,again) “What kind of student is Annette in your class room ?” The homeroom teacher said “Annette is my smartest student, when no one else knows the answer, Annette always does !” To which the other teacher said, ” Not in my classroom, she never knows the answer to anything !!!”
      So maybe it was the way that old bat taught her class !!! I’m 72 and will never forget how horrible she made me feel.

    • Audrey Young says:

      I agree with a lot of what you are saying. My two daughters went through public school so I did not home school. I wanted private schools but my hsbd was not in agreement. As a whole they did well, the youngest better than the oldest. The oldest wld hv done better in private I believe.

      I recently substitute a ninth grade English at a high school where I taught last year. Apparently, they have reinstated the pledge at the beginning of first hour. Imagine my shock when I stood w/hand over heart and started to recite the pledge only to find half the class lazing in their seats w/no interest in what was going on. The other half and I stood and recited the pledge. I asked where the flag was because I did not know which way to face. I was told it was folded on top of the cabinet in the corner! Upon speaking w/one young man, he shared that it is his right not to stand (thank you ACLU) and his teacher (she seems to be about 30 yrs old from photos) says they do not have to do this!!

      I was appalled and next time I am back in that school (the principal was principal at my daughters’ high school about ten years ago), I plan on asking if that is school policy. I cannot tell you how internally outraged and disappointed I was. Needlesstosay, they heard me tell them there are soldiers in overseas dying for their country; about watching television in the sixties and seeing the killing, etc. etc. The kicker was this particular young man was wearing an American Eagle shirt. I did not let that go untouched. I asked why the shirt – because everyone else was shopping there or because he was an American? I hope some students in that class heard what I was getting at and will stand next time.

    • I really, really WISH someone who claims this is about indoctrination and turning America into Hitler Germany would back their claims up with some FACTS and DOCUMENTATION.
      To just rant about something is not persuasive, except for those who base their conclusions on emotion and rhetorical speech.
      Students refusing to pledge allegiance has nothing to do with CC.

  18. Amrill Drews says:

    I am not an educator. I am mostly self-taught by reading every book that came into my hands over 74 years.

    What I do not understand is this… I had a mother who had an 8th grade education then had to work on the farm to help feed the family. I have looked at the text books of that day and read through the test. The things she studied and learned were subjects and content that many college age students of today would find difficult if not impossible. How is this possible? Were children of that day so much more advanced in their ability to learn then the kids of today? Were they just better students?

    She grew up in the depression era when food was sometimes scarce and nutrition was never even a topic of discussion. So the idea that poor families cause poor learning capabilities seems contrived to me. My grandfather thought what you could learn on the farm was enough learning for anyone. So not being encouraged at home seems contrived also.

    That generation learned enough in their simple one room school houses that they produced the advanced society and technology we see today. What has changed? If our children are not capable of learning these concepts I would like to know what changed? Why have our children come down so low in competition with other counties? We use to be at the top. What caused the change? Do we suffer from low expectations? Why can’t our children learn what the average child of that time learned? If we are trying to educate those who can’t learn to try for something they cannot attain are we not asking for frustrated children? The same hold true for those who can and would learn more if given the opportunity. They are just as frustrated. It is obvious that everyone is not the same nor have the same interests. However, there are certain abilities everyone should try to achieve. (The ability to count out the correct change comes to mind. I was waited on by a college grad who could not give correct change on her own without the register to help her. What is with that?)

    There are many more issues in education that could be questioned but this is enough for now. If anyone can answer these question without a lot of “gobbledygook” by that I mean plain simple answers I would appreciate it. This study proves this and this study proves that means nothing in a day when studies can prove anything the writer wants it to prove.

    Please forgive the poor writing skills… I was never an English Major.

    • I think it is a combination of many things. I think “We the People” are being dumbed down. Children today are not held to the same high standards that our parents and grand parents were held to. Now days many parents use a computer or tv as a babysitter for their children instead of instilling morals and education. That combined with the idiotic thinking of our leaders and the all might quest for another dollar in the bank, are pushing our moral’s, education, and ability to think for ourselves down the toilet.

      • Let me add a few more things to the list. Polluted air, water, and food. Chemicals everywhere. Drugs everywhere, pharmaceutical drugs, that have worse side effects than the issue they were meant to “cure”. TV, internet, movies, pop music, everywhere, non stop, forcing us to mindlessly consume what they give us. Not to mention the whole culture of consuming, and little value at all placed on producing.

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      It is not clear that they learned as much as most believe.
      In the first international tests the US scored 7th out of 8. This was in the late 1960s.
      So we have not come down. We have always done poorly.

      And as Sam Wineburg titled an article, “The Greatest Generation’ Struggled With History Too” on how students fare on various history tests over time:

      • I think you have to go back farther than the 60’s. My Mother and Dad were born after 1900, went to a one room school house. Neither went past the Fourth grade, yet my Dad operated his own business along with my Mother. My Mother also had a beautiful cursive handwriting.. I graduated from High School in 1953 and yet when I hear college students talking I wonder what has happened to our Educational System. Many don’t seem to be aware of what is happening in the World and don’t really care.

        • Jeremy Greene says:

          Lea from the Wineburg article:
          “Six in 10 high school students lack even a basic knowledge of American history, according to results from the 2001 National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test nicknamed the “Nation’s Report Card.

          Despite public hand-wringing over the supposed ignorance of today’s youth, education Professor Sam Wineburg argues in the March issue of The Journal of American History that American students have always performed dismally on history tests designed to gauge factual knowledge. BACK IN 1917, 1,500 Texas teens sitting for the first large-scale test fared just as poorly [as today’s students], while tests in 1943, 1976, 1987 and 1994 produced similar results.

          “A sober look at a century of history testing provides no evidence for the ‘gradual disintegration of cultural memory’ or a ‘growing historical ignorance,'” Wineburg writes in the article titled “Crazy for History.” “The only thing growing seems to be our amnesia of past ignorance.”

          Although the composition of students attending high school during the last century has broadened from an elite to near-universal enrollment, test results of today’s teens compare with those of their forebears ­ hovering around the 40- to 50-percent mark.”

          Lea, what is going on in the world is one way of judging, but see quote immediately above. I would say ask them what they do know – students imho know fewer things but know more about them. The Internet and social media allow deep dives (In other words one can find and listen to more Jimi Hendrix music now than I could when I was a kid and I was an active collector of Hendrix music. I could get more music than I had then in about an hour now through Spotify, Youtube, and other online sources. The same goes for any endeavor, such as recipes, gardening, sewing, et. al.)

          • Jeremy…. What exactly is your point in response to lea? Oh and I’m so glad that today’s youth can now listen to more Hendrix music now than in past history….. Really?????

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Lea writes: “I graduated from High School in 1953 and yet when I hear college students talking I wonder what has happened to our Educational System. Many don’t seem to be aware of what is happening in the World and don’t really care.”

            It seems that many people have a false sense that their generation was much smarter than today’s students. But when we (or Sam Wineburg of the Stanford History Education Group) look back at tests of historical knowledge students in the past did no better than today’s students. In other words, we all did poorly.

            She judges students negatively on their knowledge of what is going on in the world. I admit that is one way of judging [and one I can sympathize with]. But I suggest that she should possibly judge them on what they do know – students at this time in history can deep dive into whatever topic they like whether it be Hendrix, cooking, gardening, sewing,Irish history or Irish step dancing, World of Warcraft, et. al..

            The technology available lends itself to students who know a lot about a little instead of a little about a lot. There is also no common sources of information. Students can spend several hours reading articles on one of the topics listed and not know the headlines from the previous day.

            When most of us were growing up there was tv, radio, weekly magazines, newspapers, and books (for the deep dive). What information was covered in the first three overlapped. Kids today can skip all four of those sources and still get the information they want on the subjects they want. But doing that will lead to students who do not know what is happening (i.e. news) in the world. BUT for the students interested in what is happening in the world they know way more than I ever could when I was their age. My International Relations kids blow me away with the information they know about Malawi or female education in Thailand or the prison system in North Korea and China.

            So, my message to Lea would be to see if they actually do know anything. And perhaps she as well as all of us aren’t as smart as we thought we were. That is what the research states.

      • JustBrowsing says:

        Jeremy, the writer was talking about education in the early 1900’s, not 1960’s. Have you ever seen a textbook from that time? I have, and it puts me to shame. I tend to think of myself as pretty bright, but not when I see what kids educated in 1920 had to learn. Even my parents who grew up in the 40’s have incredible knowledge of basic things that I still don’t know at age 50.
        Our educational system has gone way downhill since my parents were in elementary school, but I don’t blame just the school system. Our entire society has changed… Children are absolutely SPOILED today. They would consider abusive what children in the early part of the century went through (and true, perhaps some of it was?).
        I wish somehow we could get back to really educating our children, and I think the promoters of CC are trying to do this, but without changing all the societal factors that are a part of the problem as well, CC alone will never be the solution.

      • JustBrowsing says:

        I do, however, agree with you that kids today can learn ALOT on the Internet. My daughter-in-law knows a little bit about a lot of things I don’t because of the Internet, but can she spell or write a paper? Not on your life. Her writing skills are atrocious, she doesn’t know the difference between there & their, or to & too, and has difficulty spelling common words.
        Would I say she’s educated because she learned from the internet some obscure bits of information that I don’t know on a number of different topics? You be the judge.

    • My Dad only had 8th grade education, and was he ever smart. The education system has dumb downed the kids for the last 100 years, and now they are complaining, and what they are upset about is, they can’t teach, they are the ones that have been dumb downed, and that is the problem. So good riddance meg, and any others that can’t teach!

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        It is unclear from Meg’s article how good a teacher she is. The problem as I see it is that there are new standards that she is expected to teach. But the teachers are expected to catch students up in one fell swoop to where they should be and this for even great teachers is more than should be expected of them or their students. That said, I think if Meg waits 7 years, hopefully fewer, and the teachers below her help students reach the skills that are expected her job as a teacher will be as it was with the bonus of students who are much more able. Here’s hoping….

        • Meg Norris says:

          Jeremy – This may be the only decent point you make. Had CC been implemented correctly, one grade level at a time, and not as standards to be tested, but rather guidelines for each grade, they may have made an impact. Forcing them at all grade levels at the same time is giving us 11 years of destroyed children. An entire generation of children who will hear nothing more than “You failed.” I don’t have 7 years for the corporations to get this right. These test scores are already being sold to the prison system to establish the numbers of cells that need to be built in the next 11 years. The “Career and College Readiness” information is already being sold to economic development firms and companies who are looking at where the best workforces will be. This is not scholarship. This is about greed and money. I am finishing my doctorate so I may teach teachers how to teach in ways that will truly close the achievement gap. How to build relationships with kids and teach to their strengths, not make them feel like failures. The dropout rate will begin to skyrocket soon if nothing is done. I hope to change that before it is too late. Every child can reach their dream, but only if they believe and receive the support. Common Core is tearing them down.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            I am glad I make one good point.
            And I definitely would not have implemented it one grade at a time.
            That would, in opposition to your point, continued the failure rate we are now in.

            What we have right now is a path to prison. Especially males raised without a father, most especially black males. Here are some stats: and,%20Cory.pdf

            Will CCS by itself lead to an improvement? No.
            In fact, I would say many other things would be better to implement. Here are two that would have a much bigger impacet: longer school day and year and giving families more books for the home.
            That said, CCS is a step in the right direction. If your child is in 7th grade and can’t do the skills that is a red flag that his/her life might not be as economically fulfilling as a child that can.

            So, a reality check is not a bad thing. I hope it does not say you failed. I would hope it tells the student and the parent where they are – you are in 9th grade, and your reading is at 9th grade but your writing is at 7th.

            It is all well and good to teach to their strengths, but it is the weaknesses that must be addressed – especially if it is readin’, writin’, ‘rithmetic, and speakin’. The four things CCS focus on. To put it bluntly if the 7th graders you had cannot do at least 10th grade CCS by the time they graduate then any dream of being a professional white collar worker will not be a reality for most of them (The exceptions will have to work very hard to be the exceptions – this will most likely include time in remedial classes.).

            The skyrocketing dropout rates that were supposed to happen with high stakes testing have not occured. See MA where not only have dropout rates decreased in general from 2004-2005 to 2011-2012 they decreased for both sexes and every racial category. This in a time of high stakes testing: Other states might have different trends, but the one in MA during the time of high stakes testing is a clear one.

            • Do you even read back over your words on this site????? Every child in this world is going to rise to this fantasy world you speak of……. You are saying that children that that choose blue collar jobs are failures….. Wake up

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Kristen, you need the reading skills CCS asks for.
            Meg wrote: “Every child can reach their dream, but only if they believe and receive the support.”

            I wrote: To put it bluntly if the 7th graders you had cannot do at least 10th grade CCS by the time they graduate then any dream of being a professional white collar worker will not be a reality for most of them. [The dream is not mine in the sentence, it is the 7th graders that is assumed from the context.]

            Nowhere do I write that students who choose blue collar jobs are failures. I do write that students who successfully go on to college will probably have more ECONOMICALLY fulfilling lives (i.e. they will make more $).

            Not only do I write it, I never even thought it.

            So, my challenge to you is to find where on this site or anywhere I have ever written or said that children who choose blue collar jobs are failures. Or anywhere I have written that adults who choose or end up in blue collar jobs are failures. To the contrary, I have often said and sometimes written on boards like these that many students should choose vocational schools and are missing a good opportunity. The challenge above is key to the CCS belief that students should be able to argue from text as I have done in this post. More than once, on this board you have not been able to employ this skill. Thus, proving why we need it. If you are going to win your argument it should be based on what is actually written and not what you think is written.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Sorry for all the missing grammar – like two missing periods in the brackets – and at least one missing word above: “Not only do I NOT write it, I never even thought it.”
            Tired. Going to bed.

          • You should be tired….. It takes a great deal of energy when you try to make misconceptions truth… Why don’t you spend your free time in another country

    • Audrey Young says:

      One does not have to be an English major to be smart as you have witnessed in your family’s heritage. You make some very valid points that I believe many of your and my generation (born 1956) agree very strongly with and are saddened by. Studernts I hv come into contact with while substitute teaching and even my youngest daughter (22 yrs) are not very familiar with the written word (cursive). The typed word is used on computers and apparently teachers no longer make the students hand write (cursive not printing) papers after fifth grade. I worry the Chinese or some other society who is not dumbing down but staying educated at a high level will be running our children one day if we do not wise up. I show the children I teach how much faster it is to use cursive compared to printing. I think all this fascination with electronics (hand held games/videos/etc.) and parents more concerned about working outside the home, expensive homes, and lost priorities are falling down on the job. I was raised by parents/grandparents with depression era values and there is a lot to be said for that. Our parents and my generation were even graded on handwriting. When I have said to a student, “neatness counts”, they are genuinely surprised. I try to remind them that they will have a boss one day and certain things will be unacceptable.

      What else can we do after already raising our families other than trying to use our voices in Sunday school education and the lives of other children we come in contact with. I would seriously like to know so our future generations have the high standards we were raised with.

    • Actually, the United States is not quite as ‘dumb’ as the proponents of CC want you to believe. What is very typical is the govt. creating a crisis, which does not really exist, and then coming in to take over and ‘fix’ it.

  19. My standards as a parent is to have my children be successful but happy. Are children, young adults and adults truly happy by what is being taught in our public school systems? There is a reason why they call it public versus private, and my oldest is now so against education because of what it did to him with these “so-called” standards. If a kid isn’t able to be molded and get what is put in front of him/her, they are labeled. Labels cause damage in the long run and then students give up and/or feel less about themselves…with all that goes with feeling bad. Public education is not a winner and I commend the teachers and sensitive people that stand up and say ENOUGH! Thank you Meg and Kris for getting it and understanding that children, young adults and adults should be treated like individuals.

  20. The only thing clarified here is that Jeremy is something of a drone. I do not believe that I was required to meet the standards that he sanctimoniously provided. This was a good thing because I would have had a lot of trouble meeting many of them in some subjects. I did complete high school (class of 1970). I was able to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry.

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      Thomas, I will take your point that I have posted the same thing several times, but as far as I know how the alerts work – many people like me sign up for an alert only if someone replies to the post. So, to enter into dialogue with them (if they checked that box) I have to reply to their individual post.

      There is nothing sanctimonious about my posts. I certainly do not think myself better than anyone on this issue. That said, I like vigorous debate.

      It is true, that you were not required to meet these standards. Nor was I. But I bet if you look through them – that you actually did meet them!

      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

      The backers of CCS want this for all children. I am in that number.

      • Yes Jeremy, you do sound like a CCSS talking DRONE as Thomas says. You, dear boy, can just ignore your set up “alerts” & let us all think you’re a drone or do as you have (reply) & erase all doubt. PS: Do you realize HOW drone like you sound? It’s deafening! Drone on my indoctrinated one…

  21. Thank you for caring about the children
    We need more good teachers like you
    I am a widow grandmother if you need my help for anything please let me know I truly believe in what you are doing Keep Up The Great Work
    God Is With You Never Forget!!!!!

  22. Jeremy Greene says:

    “These corporations don’t want to teach you how to think.”
    To disagree with the author.
    Actually, they do!
    The ELA Standards is a move away from essays on how a students feel (This IS a way of thinking) with essays topics like: We’ve just read To Kill a Mockingbird – Write how you feel about prejudice in your life. This is not by definition a bad assignment. BUT one could do the assignment by just knowing what prejudice is. The CCS would ask for the student to write an essay on the prejudice that is in the novel:

    Key Ideas and Details

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

    Or more likely an essay comparing the prejudice in _To Kill a Mockingbird_ to the prejudice in historical images and writings the class studied.

    The point is that the powers that be do want students to think and to be able to use texts in more involved ways (See my example above for what too often was acceptable in too many English classes. Of course, if you were a teacher already doing this and many [most?] of us were already doing this).

    • Hi Jeremy,

      A core stated goal of the Common Core standards is to help our children to develop critical thinking skills. Text analysis is one way of demonstrating such skills, but it’s a complex thinking process that is quite difficult, even for many adults. I don’t see why it should provide the core goal for children’s studies at the elementary school level. I’m much more interested in having children develop good communication, reading and writing skills. Text analysis has very limited usefulness or application as a skill set. It’s something better for high school or University students.

      On the other hand, I do think critical thinking is extremely important, and as we become adults we will be hindered if we can not think critically. The evidence for that exists in the world around us where problems like poverty, high crime, drug abuse, Wall Street profiteering, the rise of Walmart / death of main street, recent wars built on lies and faulty evidence, nuclear plants called safe then leaking pollution into the atmosphere and oceans, Americans allowing pharmaceutical drug prices to go unregulated, etc, etc.

      The new Common Core standards was drawn up by business people and their friends in government, yet they cite no evidence that such a standards and testing program will lead to deeper learning, greater skill development and future economic success. In fact, if you listen to a recent speech of a key CC developer, Michael Cohen, it seems pretty clear that the purpose was to create a mechanism whereby government and business could exert greater control and domination over teachers and the educational system.

      They want to privatize schools, and so by providing a challenge that is beyond most children’s ability to learn and teachers to teach they guarantee that test scores will be low. This allows them to call certain teachers and entire schools failures, which allows them to close those schools. It does nothing to promote powerful and effective learning.

      If you want to see a program that is grounded in what educational researchers know about learning and child psychology check out Finland. It’s a completely different approach that supports all learners, equalizes funding of schools, gives “rigorous” standards for teacher education, pays teachers well and trusts them to build appropriate assessments in their own schools, without outside interference.

      Why do I feel confident that Finland’s got it right? Besides their super high test scores coincide with a educational approach that is grounded in what education and psychology research has demonstrated to be true over the last 30 years, whereas the Common Core approach is not. The goals of CC are fine as part of an educator’s teaching goals, but only as one of many goals which should be guiding instruction, not as the primary set. And definitely not as the core set of standards to judge a teacher or school on.

      Curiosity, creative expression, motivation, concentration, interest and enjoyment are key for the development of learner’s knowledge and intellectual ability. If you want children to develop high level reading skills the best way is to encourage a love of learning, not try and dissect everything they read with complex higher order analysis. That destroys the love of reading, makes them less likely to spend time with books. In other words, when one goal dominates it excludes others, this is what brave teachers like Meg are SCREAMING about now.

      Examples like this are endless, as are the lies being spun now by people in positions of power who seem to be more interested in keeping and expanding that power then in actually promoting truly critical thinking and meaningful learning.


      About myself- I have a doctoral degree in education and psychology from Stanford University’s Graduate School of education. I worked with the Accelerated Schools Program in the 1990s, serve as admin of the Facebook pages “Creative Systems Thinking” and “The Art of Learning.” I currently teach in Japan.

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        Well, I think the evidence is whether you think the best state standards like say in MA, VA, TX led to increased student achievement. In Cohen’s address in MI he makes a logical case for why CCS was needed and why it is better than what came before:
        Hopefully it will continue to improve as it is implemented.

        I agree we could learn from Finland. Having the same goals across all states and schools is one small step. Would also love to “Close the Talent Gap”: as Finland has done. And I am for a more socialized system of wealth redistribution:
        I have not run across how the Finns have incorporated psychological development into their curriculum. Is it in _Finnish Lessons_? Other sources?

        Knowing a text and using it well do lead to: “curiosity, creative expression, motivation, concentration, interest and enjoyment” The CCS does not have students analyzing texts until the 5th grade. Much of what is required in the CCS is exactly the fun any reader has with text – how is this the same as the movie or the historical sources? Talking about structure and how it is used. This is just intelligent talk.

        I have to disagree that the implementation of the standards would lead to less critical thinking. If achieved they would lead to more. Just the ability to cite text as I did in the first three paragraphs make for more interesting conversations.

        I will like those pages you cited with the New England History Teachers Association page. I am the admin of that page. If you are interested in history please like!

    • While I do not believe that the common core is necessarily a bad thing overall, I have seen first hand what it is doing to my son. Teachers are gearing up early to teach to the common core – way too early. Is 7th grade too early, I do not think so. I was able to do most of the common core discussed here by 7th grade but certainly not all. However, how discouraging is it to assign a 4th grade student a complex, multi-step math homework assignment that involves long division when long division had not yet been taught – example: The area of a rectangle is 255 square feet and one side is 15 feet. What is the perimeter of the rectangle. Huh? Sure that is easy for me as I work with numbers every day but really, 20 questions like this for homework one night? I spent almost 3 hours explaining how to complete these problems with my son. How about a reading assignment on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”? Are you serious? I still cannot understand the poem and the assignment had words in bold and you were to tell the meaning of the word based on the text. Sure I knew what Beguiling and Implore meant but Entreating?, Obeisance?, Surcease? Is this really appropriate for 4th grade?

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        The Raven is supposed to be for the grade 9-10 reading levels according to CCS
        See appendix b

      • This begs the question: is it the CC standards, or the poor implementation of them that is the problem?
        If The Raven is supposed to be for grade 9-10, you would do well to question why this teacher is using it in 4th.

  23. andrewhagle says:

    Reblogged this on Home Grown News Media and commented:
    This is unnerving. We are spending more money and making a bigger mess in schools.

    • Meg Norris says:

      Thank you Andrew. The hardest thing I did was walk away but as they continue to try and silence me I knew the truth about how so many children are responding to this nightmare had to be shared. Please encourage parents every where to opt their children out of standardized testing. It is legal and it will NOT affect school funding.

  24. Jeremy Greene says:

    I can’t speak to the math standards. But I think the ELA Standards are great! Do the following Grade 6 ELA Standards need to be studied or tested for example for us as parents, educators and taxpayers to buy into them?:

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3 Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution…
    Here are links to the other grade 6 standards:

    The challenge to the author and to all. Find anything in any of the ELA Standards that you do not think the student should be able to do when the Standards state they should. If my children aren’t capable of this I would be upset. In other words, the ELA Standards are appropriate – not worth crying over or quitting over.

    • Challenge accepted! I wrote about it here:

      But, I’m not going to rehash everything, so you’ll have to purchase it. The good news: the Kindle version is deeply discounted!

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        This round goes to me.
        I read what I could on the link. I hate to say that it did not meet the challenge. Simply post the Standard you do not think they should learn. This is not done in the free reading material. Perhaps chapter 7? But any reading of the ELA CCS is a case for back to basics as ALL THE ELA Standards show.

        The challenge remains. Good luck!

        • Meg Norris says:

          Any standard that includes analyze, determine, compare, opinion, judgement….and the list goes on and on. These are skills, understandings and brain functions that are not developed until high school at the earliest. I would be happy to put you in touch with some professional child psychologists if you need more clarification.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Would love to have their commentary. Have them comment here!

            Here are some that Meg is stating are inappropriate:
            Grade 5 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
            Grade 6 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.

            I think that analysis – how things relate to one another – can be done by 5th graders at a basic level. I believe this is the first time the word is used.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Meg, according to this APA document inferential thinking begins earlier than you state:

            “From late elementary school into middle school, inferential thinking [The definition of inferential thinking is this: Reading between the lines, often involves meaning that is implied rather than explicit.]
            becomes more emphasized in schools, while rote learning is de-emphasized. This shift in focus is supported by the increased connectivity in the brain and by chemical changes in the neuronal pathways that support both short and long term memory. These chemical changes can continue for hours, days and even weeks after the initial learning takes place (Gazzaniga, Ivry, & Magnun, 2002). Learning becomes more consolidated, as it is stored in long-term memory.”

            So, the CCS falls in line with what the APA states. Having not read the actual source, perhaps this is only for affluent whites, but I would doubt it. It is probably true that an underfed child develops slower than someone properly fed. And it is definitely true that all children develop at different rates, but I think that the inferential thinking stated above is seen in various populations across race and economic classes (This is from my experience that agrees with the APA brain link above.)

            Again, would love to hear from child psychologists who might have more specific info than this broad overview of the brain and learning.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            As to the appropriateness of the standards I think it is important that the the National Center for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has mostly positive things to say about CCS:
            CAST’s critique is along the same lines:
            And a teacher/administrator in my district who is one of the UDL trainers agrees:
            From her blog: “These Anchor Standards are then broken down into developmentally appropriate levels of rigor for each grade.” She is a UDL trainer.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Grant Wiggins latest: on the appropriateness of the standards (and tests too).

            • After reading your latest post on the readiness of children’s brains to complete rigorous higher order thinking, I have decided that you are completely correct in your thinking. The demoralization of today’s students is imminent. After all….. all students should just be considered test scores and be judged on their ability regardless of any disability a child may have. Let’s differentiate instruction and then give them all the SAME standardized test. This makes complete sense.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Actually, kwbb, my last post was this:
            November 12, 2013 at 5:55 am
            Kris, Grant Wiggins on the developmentally appropriateness of the standards and test items (He, like me is not a big fan of testing – see his first comment in the threads):

            So, as I have stated throughout this thread I do not necessarily support the testing that goes with the standards. I am not by principle against testing. I am against spending many hours or days testing. At most, I could see quarterly 2 hour tests for high school being appropriate and 10 minutes per grade level below that. So a first grader would have a total of 40 minutes. A 6th grader 4 hours, and a high schooler 8 hours.

            But the only check you would need in my opinion is to give each parent/guardian the CCS and state that your child should be able to do these skills by the end of the year. Perhaps, parents could go online and state whether their child is meeting the standards by taking a survey?

            Ex. Can your 3rd grader write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences?

            Can your 3rd grader establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally?

            Perhaps ask them 20 of these type questions and give examples of what is appropriate for their grade level, like in Appendix C: ? This could be one way of checking which could eliminate some or all testing. (Yes, I am aware that some parents / guardians might have difficulty assessing this. Perhaps these parents could opt for a test if they liked that could be mailed in and receive feedback or parents could choose both?)

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            And on differentiation:
            Katie Novak, a UDL trainer states they are developmentally appropriate. UDL focuses on differentiation – actually, that the differentiation should be built into the lesson. Remember UDL and CAST are for the CCS with limited complaints. This should probably end the conversation.

            But, if it doesn’t:

            Some quotes from the CCS as to differentiation appear on this page:

            Carole Ann Tomlinson, who might know a thing about differentiation:

            Differentiation for the most part does not mean students can achieve the goals of the CCS, but they may take different paths getting there.

    • Of course, the way you worded your challenge makes it obvious that it’s an exercise in futility. What you mean is, “Go ahead and challenge me, although I have already made up my mind, and I’ve totally bought into this, which makes me a troll.”

      Either way, check out the book. Couldn’t hurt.

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        Kris, I find your post very closed minded.

        Ummm, the way I worded it is: “Find anything in any of the ELA Standards that you do not think the student should be able to do when the Standards state they should.”

        I might have made up my mind. But the definition of a troll is someone who writes on things unrelated to what is being discussed. I am on topic. My main belief, is that people who post against CCSS have not actually read the Standards.

        You could actually write that you do not think Grade 6 students are too young to: “Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.” This should be the work of 9th graders. That is how I read the author’s work. In her own words the students in her class struggled with standards like those I’ve linked even after she “broke [them] down for you [the students] I could see you didn’t understand.”

        This to me is not acceptable. I don’t blame the author. I blame the system which did not have these excellent standards in place the previous 6-7 years of her students’ lives.

        • Anyway. I do pose an educated argument against the standards in the book. I’ve read the standards more times than I care to, because I felt I needed to. I’ve read and studied ALL of the standards — not just ELA and not just later grades, as I assume you have. The only way to get a true sense of the damage these standards do is to understand children at every age, how the standards move through the grades from K through 12, and the fact that these standards were written under the premise that all kids learn, grown, and develop the same.

          My post may have sounded closed-minded, but it’s apparent that I’ve done way more homework than you.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Could you prove you’ve done more homework than I have?
            Please do this by posting one ELA standard that is inappropriate for the grade it is in.

            I’ve looked at, not studied, all the ELA standards (which include history, science, and technical subjects). Your point that these are expected for all kids at every grade as they move through the grades is a bit hollow since there are already state standards that do this (and not as well imho). The Standards makers do not believe all students can achieve the Standards – there are obviously students who are mentally handicapped who can’t, but all those who want to be college and career ready should master them.

            I also believe the standards do an excellent job of slowly building on the previous standard.
            For instance the grade 2 standard:
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
            and the grade 3 standards:
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1a Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1b Provide reasons that support the opinion.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1c Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1d Provide a concluding statement or section.
            In grade 4 their reasons should be supported by “facts and details” and different linking words have been added (Those are the only changes).
            In grade 5 they ask for the reasons to be “logically ordered” and more linking words have been added (and that’s it).

            This to me is logical. It also allows for a grade 5 teacher to catch a student up to speed even if the grade 4 teacher was terrible since he could build on the grade 1,2, and 3 material.

            • I don’t want to sound rude, but I’ve heard your arguments from at least four other people over the past few months, all of whom had something to prove and/or sell.

              I’m simply thrilled that the standards seem to work for YOUR kids and YOUR wife, but YOU are not the world. I’ve spoken to literally THOUSANDS of people–kids, teachers, experts, counselors, principals, and parents–who don’t care how “logical” YOU think the standards are. They only care what’s happening to their schools and their kids.

              I have done three years of research and over 8 months of work getting my work into one place. Thanks for checking out the free stuff, but if you want proof of my hard work, then get the full version.

              I would love to unpack the standards with you and nitpick the finer points, but I already did that with Charlotte Meck Schools. It was a nightmare and almost all of my colleagues agreed.

              BUT…I have a lot of work to do. So, good luck.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Yes I am posting to prove something – I am trying to prove something. That the ELA Standards are excellent. I made a simple challenge to you and anyone else to post a single ELA standard that is not appropriate. You for some reason have not taken me up on that????

            Did you like the irony of you accusing me of trying to sell you something and then you suggest I “get the full version” of your book.

            In the three years and 8 months or in all the talk to these THOUSANDS of people did one actually state a single ELA standard that was inappropriate for the grade level? That is all the challenge is.

            A man of your knowledge should be able to post a single standard and show us that it is unacceptable. I feel like I should review your book without reading it and link them to this article.

          • You are a complete non functioning human being.. Jeremy… I hope you have no chidlren……

            • Jeremy Greene says:

              Kristen, are you actually as mean and thoughtless as this post and several others you have made to me suggest?
              I do not find your posts appropriate. Especially if you are an educator. Would you say this to your students? Or anyone in person for disagreeing with you on, of all things, Common Core?

              Please look in your heart and head for these answers.

              P.S. 1 child and 1 on the way.

        • And you think this is bad? You should see what’s happening to Kindergarteners. No, she didn’t want these standards in her kids’ lives 6 or 7 years ago. That’s where the REAL damage is being done.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            No, I think they are good. Actually, great!

            Again, if you do not think these standards are not appropriate for Kindergartners please speak your piece (my 4 year old can already usually do this):

            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
            CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

            My wife teaches first grade. She does not find the Standards onerous. I teach high school. They are right in line with what I do, and actually in one instance, the introduction of counter-claims ask for me to step it up.

            The Standards do not dictate how to run a class. How states, districts, or schools choose to do that is up to them. That said, I hope every Kindergartner can ask answer questions about a Curious George story, retell Hansel and Gretel if they have heard it several times in their Kindergarten class and identify the characters, settings and major events in a Curious George or Hansel and Gretel.

        • Meg Norris says:

          Not only have I read them I taught them. If you teach them I’d like to know more about your school and where you are coming from. I’d also like to direct you to an excellent blog by Robert Shepherd who is an author of textbooks and curriculum. He discusses the damage all standards based teaching does to children. Colleges complain about the numbers of students requiring remedial courses rising over the past 10 years. What has been in place? NCLB and standardized testing. Teaching by standards does not teach content. It means teaching to a test. A test that, like that standards, was not developed by any teachers. I am thrilled you are having luck with them. I look forward to seeing how your test scores come out. There are thousands of teachers experiencing the opposite. I thought they were going to be great too. But they are not. I pulled my own child out of public school because I did not want him exposed to them. That is a pretty tough admission for someone who has dedicated her life to teaching in public schools.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            I teach in MA and we have standards. A search of my name and world history teacher will come up with some results that you might found useful.
            Of course, CCS are in place, but not being tested yet. The PARCC test (MA choice) will have field tests this year.

            Correct me if I am wrong, but the rise in remedial courses for college students is a trend pre-dating the last 10 years. It might have something to do with the number and percentage of students who now attend college. Certainly much more than in the 1970s or 1980s.

            Shepherd has a point, one that the Core Knowledge people have worried about. But to my reading of the CCS if you are trying to reach the skills by taking content away you are deliberately missing the intent and will not do as well as those that have rich content. E.D. Hirsch:

    • Jeremy Greene:

      Smart, I like.
      Smartass I can do without.
      Your overall tone and demeanor betrays your ulterior motives.

      Rather than celebrate Meg Norris’s letter and personal ethics, you decided to try (in vain)
      to turn this into a spitting contest. Everything you’ve tried to relay here has basically become null and void IMHO. I’m at the point with your posts where I simply say, “Who cares?” and move along to move constructive posts, since yours remain devoid of the empathy for Meg’s situation.

      You’ve left me with great antipathy for you, your personal positions and your dialogue here.
      Go find another forum to harass, your comments are not welcome here with me.

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        I’ve made one smartass remark from what I can see to Kris that I should post a review to his Amazon page. This I think is a bit of sass, but is also a rebuttal to a person who states that the CCS are inappropriate but can’t post one to show that he is right and I am wrong.

        My ulterior motive? What could that be? I like the Standards. I am on three boards for history teachers (my views are mine), including VP of the New England History Teachers Association (NEHTA). I am deeply interested in this topic and no teacher I know think the Standards are inappropriate. (Some don’t like Standards from outside the town, but that is a different argument)

        I do not celebrate her letter at all. True. I think it is sad that the following grade 7 Standards are too difficult for her students:
        CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
        CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3a Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
        CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1a Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

        This is a travesty. Again, I think these are ALL appropriate standards for grade 7 students! Every single one except those who are developmentally delayed.

        Meg Norris goes as far to say that the Standards are leading to attempted suicide: “I saw you with long sleeves covering up the cutting scars on your arms.” To me, this is crazy! I am not saying it is untrue. But that students have so much trouble with the standards listed that they LITERALLY tear their hair out and attempt suicide is too much! We need to get these students prepared!

        AGAIN, I disagree that the skills asked for are not age appropriate as Meg Norris states or Kris Nielsen states above (although he did not list a single standard).

        Lastly, I do not think a single one of my posts has been harassment or harassing. I am sorry you think they meet that definition.

        • Meg Norris says:

          The students are not being faced with rigor. They are being faced with the impossible. I find you rather unaware of the children outside your bubble. You see more than 24% of the children in this country are hungry. In the south more than 50% of school age kids are below the poverty line. When your brain is already challenged with survival, worrying about a standard comes last. Children who do not have the coping skills that rich, upper middle class white kids have often turn to things like self-cutting because they think there is something wrong with them. These Standards are abusive in asking children to do things their brains are not ready for. When a child cannot do something their teacher (often the most trusted adult in their lives) is asking of them they think there is something wrong with them. They sit and they try. They try very very hard. But if the brain is not ready to think or process in that manner it will not. I hope you gain some compassion for children who are not as “gifted” as yours.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Heck, I want all students to be fed and ready for school.
            I want to tax the wealthy (but now we’re getting off track:, fwiw)

            But your assumptions are a bit off. I live in a town that about fits your model. My two closest neighbors are black. So, we probably shouldn’t assume too much. I’ve taught students kicked out of Boston Public and taught students who were reading way below grade level. My compassion leads me to want these standards. Especially for those just beginning school

          • Well, then it sounds like the problem is not the standards, it’s the home life of the students. And nothing that happens in the school is going to change that.
            Also, I find it incredibly sad that a teacher would be the most trusted adult in a young person’s life. That is what parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are for.

      • I couldn’t have said this better myself…… Nice job scot

    • Meg Norris says:

      There are plenty in the standards that go against the most basic cognitive development research. There has been a measurable and very real increase in children exhibiting behaviors that align with the stress of being forced to do things they cannot do. Children going from A students to F students, children cutting themselves (a sign of frustration or anger with self), Children quitting all social activities and dropping friends. There has been an upsurge in children on anti-anxiety medication. How would your children react to being asked to write their answers in, say Chinese, and if they cannot they get an F? That is how the brains of many children are reacting to trying to do things like compare and analyze abstract facts. Research claims that children cannot think and process beyond the concrete until after the age of 12, and some never gain the ability. Is this going to be true for every child? No, but it is for a majority. A simple study of Piaget’ stages of cognitive development and Vygotsky’s ZPD, two mainstays in child development and learning, and you can understand why children are shutting down. I am thrilled you think your children are so advanced, but I assume they also come from an upper middle class home. For at-risk children the effects are even worse as they do not have the background information to make comparisons or analyze. I would be happy to go through item by item if you wish, I did so for the State of Florida.

    • Great, great letter. Thank you, Meg Norris. To commenters: Here is a video of Dr. Koschnick speaking at a Notre Dame conference. Koschnick is a child psychologist who gives a great answer to why the Common Core standards are developmentally inappropriate. –But even if the standards were “fixed” they would still be terrible. Why? Because this is America. We don’t allow nationalization of education like the socialist and communist countries do. And under Common Core, we have no voice. A private group, NGA/CCSSO in partnership with the USDOE, has created and copyrighted them and will alter them in the future without any input from teachers or voters. It’s a “living document” by its own definition. The heaviest issue here is NOT the academic problems, it’s the freedom problems caused by Common Core. No local autonomy due to big-corporate-federal partnershipping that has created a monopoly of thought. All without our consent! This is not the American Way. Fight back.

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        Watched the vid. Math portion seemed on point. ELA portion way off. Example: When she gave the example of Little Red Riding Hood my 4 year old came in – she was excited. Then we had a back and forth about Little Red Riding Hood. Also is there any 2nd grade teachers that just have their students shouting out because that’s how 2nd graders are? See John Hattie for the importance of a well run classroom. I found that part rubbish, the math though seemed correct.

  25. May I please reprint this letter? I pray to God that we would have more teachers to come forward and oppose common core. no one seems to believe what we are trying to tell them in our district. God bless you for your courage!

  26. Dear Meg,

    You are, indeed, a brave educator. I admire your fortitude and your obvious dedication to your students. As a retired educator (30 years at the elementary level, mostly in Colorado Springs,)
    I, too, have been frustrated and concerned about Common Core and the direction our country has taken in education.

    Although Woodland Park, CO, where I now reside is a long way from Georgia, I would like to encourage you that I am seeing some progress in getting education back to what it used to be for children. More parents are becoming aware of the dangers of high-stakes testing; however, our state legislature has bought into Common Core, hook, line and sinker. We have made presentations to our state school board to no avail, and I found out that Bill Gates sent over 11 million dollars to our state education department in support of Common Core.

    If you are aware of any organized efforts to rally, picket, or stomp our feet in general, please let me know. The students only have their parents, teachers, and concerned community members to make the case on their behalf. I want to be involved in any way I can be. Thank you for your letter.

    Sandra Wickham

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      Sandra, thanks for your post.

      Could you please take the challenge I posted above to reprint one ELA standard that is inappropriate for the students at that grade level. Even better if you could do more. Thanks Jeremy

      • This is even better. . .
        Jeremy, I can sense that you are convinced that these standards will benefit the education of children. You’ve looked at many of them, imagined the average student and challenged others to find any that are inappropriate. But that “challenge” will not lead to any light on the subject — you would simply disagree with another person’s subjective opinion about the appropriateness of the standards. So I hope that you will drop the gauntlet-throwing pose and really open your mind to some new insights.
        I know that many products of the colleges of education tend to worship at the altar of “critical thinking” and citations from peer-reviewed journals. But as a licensed psychotherapist with a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I’m not so easily impressed. I know how those games are played in the social sciences and I think you do too. Only a simpleton would think that a study is “proof” or a link can determine the “truth”. The APA pronouncements are as much political documents as anything, so don’t try to impress us with those screeds, either. Remember when the DSM-II regarded homosexuality as a mental health disorder? Then it was miraculously (Poof!) removed from DSM-IIIR? The APA is invested in being able to get as much insurance money as possible while at the same time placating the liberals in its leadership positions. Their motives are thinly veiled power-grabs.
        But here is the neuroscience behind the problems with the CCSs:
        First, the human brain is extremely plastic at young ages and then this feature declines gradually as a child matures. We have limited time for certain windows of learning and must use that time wisely. Which windows close fast?
        For instance, a person who tries to learn a foreign language at age approximately 12 or older will never speak without an accent because the auditory cortex can’t make those distinctions for non-native language after about that age. And a child who tries to learn violin at age 13 or 14 will seldom play with the fluency that a violinist who practiced from the age of 4 or 5 will have. Ditto for most sports. The ability to memorize facts by rote tends to evaporate with age – so the best time to really master certain facts sets are in the primary grades.
        But most importantly, a child’s attachment style to his primary caregiver (Mom in most circumstances) is undergoing transitions as that child struggles with the Piagetian stages of development while forming new attachments with friends and teachers at school. These are huge demands on the biopsychosocial-spiritual development on a child with physiological damage to brain cells when the stressors are overwhelming. If a child does not successfully negotiate these basic developmental tasks while successfully attaching to trusted, loving friends and teachers, while very young, the rest of their educational and emotional destiny will be drastically impaired. If placed in a classroom of unremitting tasks to fail at, with tense and pressured teachers, surrounded by peers who are struggling for survival at the same time, the child will most likely start acting out. This is a perfect example of relational trauma which can destroy a child’s trust in the world, in adults and in himself. The window of opportunity is limited to develop a secure attachment and to activate the many different parts of the human brain for future learning. If educators neglect these foundational developmental milestones, the future ability to learn higher order thinking skills will crumble like a house built on sand. (More on that later)
        In contrast, the much-worshipped critical thinking skills that CC pushes at early ages is NOT time limited for development! Left pre-frontal cortex activities like executive function, judgment, decision making and reasoning continue through adult life. The prefrontal cortical areas really don’t even start making many connections till about 5th grade but then they continue to make connections throughout the human life-span if activated regularly.
        So even though it may be possible to spend large amounts of time to train a child to mimic a few analytical processes at young ages, standards that foster those goals at the expense of other, more developmentally crucial goals are patently misguided. Those people who formulated those goals (of which there were no child psychologists or child development experts listed) are either woefully ignorant or criminally negligent to foist this untested scheme upon millions of vulnerable children. Critical thinking skills need to wait while much more important developmental tasks are completed and many other areas of the brain are activated. Putting the cart before the horse, just ends up with a broken cart and an injured horse.

        Second, The more areas of the brain that are activated when young the better. By not spending undue time on left pre-frontal cortex activities (as the CCSs do) and using that opportunity to develop other processing areas of the brain, different modalities for learning and connections will be available when the student is in high school. This multi-modal learning strategy makes possible the highest order of thinking. No, critical thinking is not the highest level of thinking because criticism basically breaks the whole into the sum of its parts for analysis. The highest level of thinking, is not critical thinking, but CREATIVE THINKING. Creative thinking is one of the skills that will be beaten out of children who have to spend hours preparing for assessments. There are no standardized tests for creativity coming from Common Core. But the world leaders aceing standardized tests, China and Singapore, are on record bemoaning the fact that their educational programs don’t foster creativity.
        Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are the engines that drive a prosperous society – but the entire structure of CCSs stifle that creativity. The best way to develop creativity in students is to support it in the adults around them. The best way to support creativity in teachers and parents is to give flexibility and authority to innovate. Instead of having a blanket set of standards from coast to coast, educational innovators should welcome variations in each state “laboratory”! Each state then learns from each other, what works and what does not. Nimbly, the states can make creative changes and innovative adjustments which will be impossible with the behemoth of the national common core standards and assessments.
        Third, the reasons that kids in stressing environments don’t perform well cognitively go way beyond not having nutritional food. Their basic neurological growth needs for safety, security, love, and attachment have not been met and so they don’t thrive. Children without at least one loving parent actually grow different types of brains than well-cared for children. The stressors trigger epi-genetic changes to the neurons which result in problems with learning.
        A hundred years ago when orphanage babies without loving attention inexplicably died in their cribs, the best, most esteemed physicians of the day were perplexed: The babies were fed regularly, changed regularly, sheltered healthfully— what could go wrong? So they made up a name for the mysterious plague: Marasmus. Now days, we know that Marasmus was simply a lack of a secure infant-parent bonding. But the Marasmus of our day is called self-mutiliation, eating disorders, addictions, promiscuity, conduct disorders and suicide. And the esteemed experts of our day that arrogantly plot and plan and then say, “What could go wrong?” will have blood on their hands.The research shows that children who experience deficits in close attachments have much greater difficulty regulating their emotions than securely attached children. These kids can’t soothe themselves so they have to get high, get laid or get arrested. Pressing these youngsters to develop formal operational cognitive skill sets in third or fifth grade is inappropriate at best and emotionally abusive at worst. The school is simply throwing up higher barriers for these kids that they will never be able to overcome—so many of them choose to throw themselves against that wall, again and again like a frantic animal trying to escape. The emotional and physical carnage around us in schools is a shocking evidence of this kind of pain.
        So Jeremy, the point that you need to realize is that the CCSs miss the boat entirely in the primary grades. You needn’t wait for someone to take your bait and argue about particular standards. They aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.
        Have a beautiful life being a teacher. I’ll make all kinds of money on residential treatment centers for kids and try to mop up the mess that Common Core creates. Oh, but wait, you are into wealth distribution. Okay, I won’t set up residential treatment centers for these wounded kids here. I’ll just move to New Zealand and see what I can do for people there.

        • Jeremy Greene says:

          “This is even better. . .” Joan, actually it isn’t. I asked for one “or even better” more ELA CC standards that are not appropriate. You do not do that. Nor does your long post make a strong case against the standards. It makes a strong case against assessments. This I am sympathetic to. And we might even find complete agreement.

          We also agree that fields of knowledge change over time and have political elements.
          Your post makes a case for early immersion in music, foreign language, and physical activity. This we agree on too.

          Then we come to disagreement. Mostly one of imagination. You conjure up a culture of overly stressed teachers. There is not a single standard (nor taken as a whole) in the early grades that should necessitate this.

          You are actually in agreement with the APA link that analysis can start at the 5th grade and then continue. That is what I wrote and cited! The same brain regions are also referenced in that political document that will probably change as new and better research comes to the APA’s attention.
          You mention other developmental skills that need to be developed instead of the ones you think CCS has privileged, but you do not state what these are!

          The whole preparation for assessments is outside the argument. Whether CCS exists or not for the near future there will be standards and there will be assessments.

          I find the laboratory analogy completely ignorant of what a teacher can do with the CCS. You can meet them any way you wish in your classroom (if your school, district, state so allow). There can be several million labs. And it should be easier than ever to share across schools, districts, and states. One can as easily make an argument that the CCS will unleash creativity. The CCS asks for teachers to develop certain skills in their classroom and does make a few suggestions as to readings, but it does not tell you how to teach. What opening activities, during class lessons, or closing activities to do. If you believe it does, you have been misled.

          A class with the CCS should be no more or less loving, safe, and secure imo than one with the MA state standards or the NC standards.

          The carnage you see (whatever that is), is before the CCS implementation

          “Pressing these youngsters to develop formal operational cognitive skill sets in third or fifth grade is inappropriate at best and emotionally abusive at worst.” If you could check those standards and cite which are inappropriate I would greatly appreciate it. Your post so far is unconvincing to me. A quick look of the standards should be easy for you to do.

          And the wealth redistribution I linked was for people with assets over $500k – 1.5% and 3 million – 3%. According to the article this should lead to innovation which you make the case for in your post.

        • Jeremy, I appreciate the fair and gracious tone in which you have addressed my concerns with CC. And along with that, my opinion is that trying to pin down the complaints with specific standards is an exercise in futility. Why? Because any conversation about specifics simply acts as a distraction when the entire concept of national standards (and thus national assessments) is flawed. So why discourse about specifics?
          Unfortunately, the assertion that was made about CC classes being as safe and loving as non-common core classes may be ignoring the high-stakes testing and the anxiety that surrounds teachers and administrators because of the financial impact of results. That dynamic is a game changer. To put teachers and children and administrators under that sort of pressure will (as I asserted previously) result in a blow-out somewhere. CCs will make the harms of NCLB look like tiddlywinks in comparison.
          And if I supply personal facts from my direct experience you will simply dismiss this as anecdotal evidence. For example, in my clinical practice I’m treating a young teacher for panic episodes which commenced during her internship with all the stakeholders and test prep. My 3rd grade daughter is swamped with homework nightly which includes arcane conceptualizations of mathematical reasoning and liberal indoctrination in her “Imagine It” social studies course. Then there is her teacher who DAILY frightens the children about the importance of the year-end tests. When the kids say, “But we can’t type! How can we take the computer tests?” She responds, “I tried to convince the testers to allow you to write, but they won’t make any changes!” Her frustration and desperation is becoming evident.
          Unfortunately these real flesh-and-blood examples will probably bounce off your biases without making a dent. So that’s why it’s futile to keep throwing complaints, concerns and facts at you. Your intellectual defenses are doing a very good job to protect you from the cognitive dissonance which you would have to endure by changing your paradigm. It’s just too scary for some people to learn that they might truly be wrong. I see people like this in my office every single day, and believe me they are SO relieved when they can ditch those defense mechanisms and become authentic open people. You really ought to try it, Jeremy.
          But until that epiphany occurs we need to remember that anecdotal evidence is where all inquiries begin and the N=1 model should not be dismissed. On the flip side, NO randomly sampled longitudinal studies with controls exist for the CCs. This means that no decent research exists about the CCs — yet we are supposed to subject our children to this scheme for 12 years and foot the bill for the privilege? That’s a violation of not just critical thinking, but of ethical behavior toward vulnerable children.
          The whole point about the Marasmus example is that the experts of the day thought they had their bases covered, too. But hundreds and hundreds of children died because the things that the “experts” didn’t know. I’m sure you have a heart for teaching and achievement and all that, but why would somebody who values studies and citations be willing to impose this plan on an entire superpower without significant proof that it works? Frankly, the government requires more research for Kool-aid food dye than for this cataclysmic shift in education.
          So Jeremy, don’t drink the Kool-aid until decent research has been conducted on a myriad of populations for at least 10 years. I’ll promise you this much: If a body of evidence (that means at least 10 good studies which are replicated) is produced that shows the overwhelming benefit of national standards and assessment on the biopsychosocial-spiritual health of children—I’ll be its staunchest supporter. But until that time, I’m not going to be convinced. And neither should anyone else who uses their left pre-frontal cortex.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            First off I do not think you have thrown many facts or much evidence my way. Nor has anybody here for that matter.

            Second, thanks for the free diagnosis.


            Since I DO think that focusing on specific standards is useful. And I think there can be no blanket statements made about national standards. The best countries have them. The worst do too. There have been many papers done on different countries and there standards and national cultures and there have also been many papers done on different state standards. Here is the CCS report:
            The Fordham Institute has written much on these topics, among others:
            So since I think it is useful there is little left to discuss.

            As to the rest of your points”

            Again, I am defending the ELA Standards, not any testing regime. My prediction is that if the CCS disappears it will be replaced by different state standards and a different state testing regimes.

            As to the appropriateness of the standards I think it is important that the the National Center for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has mostly positive things to say about CCS: (They would agree with your typing example above.)
            CAST’s critique is along the same lines:
            And a teacher/administrator in my district who is one of the UDL trainers agrees:
            From her blog: “These Anchor Standards are then broken down into developmentally appropriate levels of rigor for each grade.” She is a UDL trainer.

            I think when any teacher talks about the appropriateness of curriculum, UDL (and CAST) is the best place to go. I am sorry I did not cite them earlier for all here to see what they like and don’t like. And see how others respond to them.

            Yes, the personal anecdotes are not entirely useful since your daughter would probably still be using Imagine It and the homework is still up to the teacher. The best studies show little, if any, benefit from homework for elementary and middle school grades. So, I am not a big fan of hw for elementary kids and it will probably not help her on any assessment based on the research.

            And the teachers again will have standards and tests with or without CCS. So there will be stress over that.

            That the CCS has not been proven to work is obvious. They have not been tried. But national standards have been tried and worked elsewhere – actually almost every country has them.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Grant Wiggins latest: on the appropriateness of the standards (and tests too).

          • Thank you so much for providing the perfect response…. I see tears in my 7 year olds who just aren’t ready for these rigorous standards…. Our children are individuals who don’t develop skills on a time- line approach……

      • Dear Jeremy,

        I’m not sure of your background, but I would suggest that you have entirely too much time on your hands so that you feel compelled to keep responding — even in the middle of the night.! Do you have a day job? Have you been involved in education in the past — or presently? Why are you so emotionally involved in this discussion?

        In the state of Colorado, we only this fall have implemented the Common Core standards. Next year, our students will go through the torturous testing aligned with those standards. New York was at least one year ahead of us in the process. Their testing took place recently, and 70% of their students failed — even the students who through the years have gotten excellent grades. Teachers who work there reported that 5th grade students were expected to know information and test proficiently in math with problems that have always been taught and tested at the 8th grade level. Is it any wonder that the students were frustrated and felt “set up”? I don’t have to have a specific example of a misaligned standard. After 30 years of teaching and seeing the results of these ridiculous tests in other parts of the country, I can see the writing on the wall. Would you know, anyway, if a particular standard was at a child’s developmental level? I think not.

        If you have not taught in a classroom where students exhibit extreme testing stress (crying, throwing up, zoning out, refusing to take yet another test), then you have not taught using No Child Left Behind or Race to the Top expectations/high-stakes testing. I consider it child abuse, and I am sad that our culture and some of our leaders have bought into such a useless and destructive mess. The biggest problem is that educators were not consulted, and this whole fiasco has been pushed through with big money. It’s not really about the kids at all. It’s about establishing socialism in our schools and making more money to line some billionaires’ pockets — GREED! And what is your vested interest? I would suggest that you read Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error, her new book which explains in well-researched detail what has gone on in the past and what is going on currently with our education system. The challenge you pose to others may not seem so important if you read and learn from her book.

        Sandra L. Wickham

        • Thank you Sandra for taking the time to respond to Jeremy …. He is so off base that I can’t even articulate the words to reply to his comments… You did so perfectly

          • Thanks for your note, Kristen. I really don’t believe that Jeremy is a teacher because he has so much extra time on his hands. If he were really an excellent teacher, he would be working on class assignments, and he would be in school during some of the times he is writing rude comments on this blog. If I have him pegged in the wrong way and he really is an egotistical, know-it-all instructor, I feel sorry for the Massachusetts education system in general and his students in particular. They deserve better — and so do you! Anyone who takes the time to send information to Jeremy is just wasting her time on a baiter. If no one engages with him, he’s off to another spot on the web to harass people.


          • Jeremy Greene says:

            I do have extra time on my hands because I have a student teacher in the last month of his training – generally this is a hands off time with limited interruption from the master teacher.

            I am in school. But I am not sure what that I have written is rude?

            I feel chastened and impressed that you can judge a teacher and what students get out of his teaching from his comments on a message board. That is very impressive. Although not uncommon since Kristen shares the same skill.

        • Jeremy Greene says:


          So the billionaires want socialism in the schools is that it? Got it. Makes perfect sense.

          I am a teacher. Google my name and world history teacher to find out more.

          I do not necessarily support the testing that goes along with the standards. Will have to see how it all breaks out.

          I have taught with high stakes testing and am in a RTTT district. But, sorry, no crying. Perhaps are kids are tougher?
          I am not sure that the high stakes tests in MA or the Regents test in NY state which has been around since the 60s – the 1860s! are the travesty you make them out to be or a travesty at all.

          I did look at Ravitch’s book the last time at the library a week ago but did not get it out since I do follow education news very closely. But have too many other book out and reading to add it to the pile.
          I would like to point out that Ravitch is for national standards – voluntarily adopted like CCS (she is just not for CCS).

          I think I could figure out if a standard was misplaced. I could do research ask reading or math specialists what they think. Do you have one?

          • Jeremy,
            I won’t waste my time replying again to the Devil’s advocate. I feel sorry for your students and for what will happen to them when Common Core implements history standards. I suggest that you go back to the library and actually check out Diane Ravitch’s book, Reign of Error to get educated. Your ignorance is showing.

            Sandra L. Wickham

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Sandra, your ignorance is showing.
            The social studies standards were already released in September.
            And developed by the CCSO, who dropped their support because they wanted to focus on defending the ELA and math standards. Teachers were deeply involved. They are not mandatory in any state yet, as far as I know.

    • Meg Norris says:

      Sandra – Peggy Robertson and several others are leading a great effort in CO. Contact her at I know Diane Ravitch just endorsed some key players there. Thank you for your willingness to help and get the word out. The best thing parents can be doing is opting their children out of the tests. Without the “data” Common Core is useless.

  27. G D Bryan says:

    I was a victim of a government test when I was in 3rd grade. The sad sack guy who conducted the
    spelling test was not able to speak clearly and I flunked spelling after having excelled in both tests
    and spell downs as a winner often in those. Government tests should have very limited weight in
    any person’s scholastic achievement. There are too many ways for such a test to go wrong or
    be skewed and not accurate. I say that not because of some survey, but because of first hand
    experience and a damned fine memory. I still remember that clown in the front of the classroom
    talking like a stupid jackass and not understandable. I am now 63 years removed from that
    classroom. Kids often have good memories. When they get to be lawyers and teachers, they
    will fix the problems they had in school. That teacher is a jewel on earth. She has done what
    any brave and well educated person would probably do. I would love to have her teaching my
    children or grand children. For starters, I noticed that she knows the English language very
    well. That is a good start. I am more into electrical engineering and construction electrical
    work and only use the language as needed to try to communicate. She obviously has learned
    it well enough to teach it to her students. Keep up the good work, lady!

  28. al pambuena says:

    some of you who are over 60, will remember that our parents and grandparents won world war 2, brought us into the nuclear age, landed us on the moon, won the cold war, and developed some of the greatest life saving technologies ever, with just a basic education of reading, writing and arithmetic. no computers….just a number 2 pencil and a slide rule. back then educators never tried to diversify you, they never tried to use social engineering, and political correctness to force you to believe certain things, you brown bagged your lunch, and never expected the school to provide three meals a day for you, and the people that you could always count on to tell you the truth, and to care about your future, was your parents, your teacher, and your pastor. you would never be suspended for wearing a shirt with the American flag, or a religious symbol,and saying the pledge of allegiance was part of being an American………gone.

    • Hi, I am a Canadian, and your neighbour. They have taken our rights to prayer, read the Bible and say our pledges of allegiance to God and country. I am so sad at what they are doing to our children, our next generation. As a mother, grandmother and teacher, I am prepare to fight to the end. We as God fearing people must stand up and say “No more”! Spread the warning to parents, friends, those in position of power. Remember “Bad things happen because good people do nothing”. God bless

      • Very well put Diane! Indoctrination is the new tool. They aren’t educating. I am a grandparent. I got my children through the school system by teaching them the truth. They are now self sufficient and God fearing patriots. I went to my grandson and Granddaughter award ceremony the other day. The speech that came out of the Principals mouth was shocking. They had them reacting to them like robots. She asked them what they knew about authority. Most of the kids said nothing so the Principal had them recite after her. ” Never disrespect or question authority”. I about came out of my chair. After school I asked them about what they learned about authority and they both said their teachers told them the Principal was wrong and they have a right to question those that are ” authority”. If they believe that the authority figure was wrong then question it. I was happy to hear that there are teachers that are not ” molding ” my grandchildren but teaching them. The Principals idealism’s are not a rare thing. They are what is being taught today. Just like Nazi Germany.

        • Jeremy Greene says:

          The ELA standards of indoctrination are for things like:
          in grade 2: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
          and in grade
          or in grade 7 (the Standards Meg Norris thought so unfair): CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2b Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
          Or in grades 11-12: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
          CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.2a Observe hyphenation conventions.
          CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.2b Spell correctly.
          If this is indoctrination we need more of it.

          You can also look at the suggested exemplar texts pages 4-13 here:

          Here are the informational texts recommended for grades 11-12:
          Informational texts:
          English Language Arts ………………………………………………..164
          Paine, Thomas. Common Sense ………………………………….164
          Jefferson, Thomas. The Declaration of Independence……..164
          United States. The Bill of Rights (Amendments One through Ten
          of the United States Constitution)………………………………….166
          Thoreau, Henry David. Walden……………………………………..167
          Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Society and Solitude.”………………167
          Porter, Horace. “Lee Surrenders to Grant, April 9th, 1865.”… 168
          Chesterton, G. K. “The Fallacy of Success.” ………………….169
          Mencken, H. L. The American Language, 4th Edition ……..169
          Wright, Richard Black Boy …………………………………………..170
          Orwell, George. “Politics and the English Language.”………170
          Hofstadter, Richard. “Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth.”….170
          Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.”………………………………………….170
          Anaya, Rudolfo. “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry.”……171

          Again, if this is the indoctrination they’re serving. We should be buying!

    • You just preached a good sermon. I hope more people see what is happening in our public schools and get on board! Thank you for all you said & do!

    • Amen

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      Ummm, I am not sure how old you are, but people my parents age would never have even thought it was appropriate for anyone to wear clothing like a shirt, pants, or bikini with the flag on it. They thought it was disrespectful.

      Anyways, just re-posting some of the exemplar texts from the CCS:
      (You can look at all the suggested exemplar texts pages 4-13 here:
      Here are the informational texts recommended for grades 11-12:
      Informational texts:
      English Language Arts ………………………………………………..164
      Paine, Thomas. Common Sense ………………………………….164
      Jefferson, Thomas. The Declaration of Independence……..164
      United States. The Bill of Rights (Amendments One through Ten
      of the United States Constitution)………………………………….166
      Thoreau, Henry David. Walden……………………………………..167
      Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Society and Solitude.”………………167
      Porter, Horace. “Lee Surrenders to Grant, April 9th, 1865.”… 168
      Chesterton, G. K. “The Fallacy of Success.” ………………….169
      Mencken, H. L. The American Language, 4th Edition ……..169
      Wright, Richard Black Boy …………………………………………..170
      Orwell, George. “Politics and the English Language.”………170
      Hofstadter, Richard. “Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth.”….170
      Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.”………………………………………….170
      Anaya, Rudolfo. “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry.”……171

      I think it is a great opportunity to get us back to basic solid education (if that ever actually existed – see Sam Wineburg’s work on how things were not as great as we often think)

    • Meg Norris says:

      I love your passion tobejove but please remember, if we make this battle about politics we end up dividing ourselves and losing. There are parents and teachers on both sides of the aisle. This is an AMERICAN atrocity. As Americans we need to say enough. We need to stop the corporate take over of, well, everything. These companies are preparing your children for one thing, to be mindless workforce slaves. There is no discussion of scholars and philosophers. Only workers.

  29. Amazing open letter from a teacher who obviously truly cares. No minds full of mush leaving her (now former) classrooms, I’m sure!

    Let this be a warning to the rest of us: stand and deliver! No more B.S. common core, anywhere, EVER!

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      Scot, please review the Standards. Please note her students were crying and pulling out their hair because they were “struggling with Common Core skills” like:

      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1b Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

  30. phillip maher says:

    “Educated educators talking education”.

    Reduced to calling people that have the nerve to disagree with their whiny, half arsed and ill informed opinions a wanker.
    Brilliant. The future is safe in your hands. Good show.

  31. phillip maher says:

    I assume the comment with the word “wankers” is going to be removed?
    You did did say you wouldn’t tolerate name calling after all.

  32. phillip maher says:

    Email away folks. I am only to to happy to have a conversation about the dangers of hippy know it all expressing their self righteous opinions on anything and everything.
    Email away.
    Reason always prevails.
    Ring me too if you wish
    UK 01625404928
    Mobile 07443945102.
    Hey, visit if you’re ever able. I live in Bollington in East Cheshire. Small village, everyone knows me.

    • Hippy? Who uses hippy anymore? Only wankers I guess.

    • You don’t even live in the US, so why does your opinion matter? Your opinion does not apply to the struggles going on in our schools that have been taken over by our government. You would not understand because you are not living it, like we are.

  33. phillip maher says:

    If you think that’s funny then you are proving my point for me.

  34. phillip maher says:

    Knee jerk reaction. Know it all buffoons.

  35. phillip maher says:

    I didn’t call anyone names.
    I said that using an unproven link between self harm and common core was unhelpful and deeply irresponsible.
    I I also said that a teacher that quits when their students need them most is a terrible teacher and poor human being.

    • I believe this is the problem, as you state: “I also said that a teacher that quits when their students need them most is a terrible teacher and poor human being.

      I have no idea how this statement adds to any conversation. And if anyone would like to comment on your quality as a human being, I suggest they email you privately:

    • Meg Norris says:

      I am glad to know you feel this way Phillip. You see I chose to leave the best job in the world, leave behind the children I adored, because the system is abusing them. I could not speak out from inside because of the threats and bullying of teachers. Much like the brave teacher that Governor Christie yelled at yesterday. You see the obscene amounts of money being spent to set schools up to fail in the US is the problem. The corporate agenda to make money and take a piece of the $600 billion spent on education is the problem. It is my goal to maintain a free and educated electorate, which is not the plan for those spending billions to undermine public education. The fact that you would understand none of this really makes your comments irrelevant, which, in turn makes you irrelevant. What IS relevant is the numbers of beautiful parents and grandparents who are seeing their children in tears and the schools are calling it “rigor.” Rigor has no place in a classroom. Much like dear Phillip you have no place here.

  36. phillip maher says:

    You claim the government won’t listen to you but you remove any comments expressing disagreeable viewpoints.
    Americans always have such an interesting take on freedom of speech.
    You all enjoy your own but would deny to anyone that disagrees with you.

  37. phillip maher says:

    No. It was there. I saw it. And somebody had already given it the thumbs down.

    • Betty Armstrong says:

      Trashing each other only shows stupidity. Teachers have a good undersanding, with regards to education, testing, etc., (at least the good ones). I’m this far down on posts and all I’ve read is degregation of each other. No mention of the children that will be harmed with this type of agenda. Get together and help the kids, bashing each other helps no one, except these deep pocket corporations.

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        Betty, children’s education in my opinion will be improved by this agenda.
        The standards that all educated parents have their own children’s educated are now common in the states that have adopted the CCS. Please read them yourself:

        • Jeremy, you keep giving links to these “wonderful” standards….but I would like to ask you a question sir. You said that you and your wife were teachers. Could you please tell me how you feel about the fact that these standards were written ….to supposedly “help” our children… the same people who will stand to make the most money by the increased testing? These people wrote these standards that have no experienced testing behind them to determine if they are actually good OR if they actually WORK! Even Bill Gates has been caught on video saying “hopefully this education thing will work!” As a billionaire who happens to own one of the companies who will make millions off of the states by supplying the testing material, he doesn’t seem to mind using our children and grandchildren as guinea pigs to see if “this education thing will work”….well maybe he doesn’t mind….BUT I DO!

          As a teacher, does it not bother you at all that these organizations ran by business men decided to write all of these “standards” and didn’t have the wisdom to include ANY TEACHERS in the writing of this material?? If they were so smart, wouldn’t you think that they would think that it might be a good idea to bring the teachers in to write this??? But no, in their arrogance they thought because they were rich and saw this as a really great way to get richer still, that this meant they were smart enough and wise enough to write the standards themselves! They are the epitome of ARROGANCE!! Over 500 of the top childhood specialists, including child psychologists, reviewed this curriculum and THEY concluded that the standards did not take into consideration the different ages at which children could understand and comprehend different materials. They said there was too much testing at too young of an age and that the childrens’ brains could not comprehend certain things to master them at the levels these standards presented them. They were also very concerned that out of over 135 people writing the standards for K-3rd grade, NOT ONE was a teacher!! Not ONE! This group of the nation’s top childhood specialists gave the curriculum a bad review because of that and they indicated that the results of this test oriented standard, that we would begin to see younger and younger children being referred for therapy because of high stress and frustration! This has already been happening all over this nation. Children who had been honor students were now failing and they were beginning to be stressed out and not wanting to go to school and some had begun “cutting” themselves from the stress! You may be a teacher sir and all of your links may be telling you that these standards are great…..but that is NOT what is being revealed all over this nation! Children are in tears, stressed out, spending hour upon hour doing homework at night at young ages, many are not wanting to go to school at all. Yet you just keep posting your links for these standards….

          Why did the standard writers leave out the most IMPORTANT people when writing them?? Why were the teachers who actually know the kids….who know what they are able to learn at certain levels….who realize as do the parents that children can’t comprehend certain things at some ages…..WHY were they shut out of this process IF this curriculum and its abominable standards is so good?? WHY were the writers the very people who will benefit FINANCIALLY from them??????

          I applaud this wise teacher for being willing to fight for the children in her class and all of those out there who are suffering from this untested, unchartered guessing game called Common Core!!! Even Bill Gates and his billions doesn’t know if it will work!! Apparently he doesn’t mind using America’s children as his guinea pigs in his arrogance! I thank God that there are caring people out there like this teacher who will stand up and fight with us to get this horrible curriculum and standards out of our schools!!! So you can post all of your links you want to sir….you are too late for me because I am seeing the effects it is having on our children….and I have seen how deception and lies has been used to push it through….and I have also seen our teachers threatened with the loss of their jobs if they dare question Common Core! If it is so wonderful, why are they so afraid to answer our questions??? Parents and grandparents are being made to feel like they have no right to ask questions at school meetings. Some who do dare to stand and demand answers are being threatened and some even arrested. The school districts pushed this through with little time for anyone to learn of it and they did that because their state Dept of Education did the same thing to them! I personally would like to see every Dept of Education from Washington, D.C. on down to each state shut down! They sit in their ivory towers and make decisions about our children and teachers and don’t have a clue what they are doing because many have never set foot in a classroom! This was accepted by the states because the federal government told them they had to accept it if they wanted Race to the Top money! THAT is why it is in the schools today…..MONEY!!!

          Sir you can post all of the links you wish. But the parents and grandparents and many teachers who bravely speak out like this one did are arising and we will NOT be silent! We know our children and we know when something is good…..and this is NOT good! Anyone who really knows anything about children can see just how bad this curriculum and these standards are! MANY stand with this teacher and with those legislators who are arising and fighting for our children! We will NOT be SILENT because our children MATTER!!!

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            I will break this up. I think you are too hard on Gates. He also tried a small school initiative to see if it worked. It did and it didn’t. Lower drop out rates, but top kids could not take as many high performance classes in a school of 600 as they can in a class of 1800. He is also seeing if his malaria thing will work. Think of it as an experiment. It is replacing the 50 State Standard experiments which have not worked well enough either. In short, I am with him in not knowing if the Standards will actually work, but the ELA CCS are good imo whether they work or not (If they do not work, it will be because of how they are implemented). Now, I could be wrong. I would love a citation to the study done by 500 child specialists. I could not find anything on the Interwebs through my searches – I only looked at the fist two pages on Google.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            That testing might have to be changed to meet students needs I agree with.
            I am for some form of check if standards are being met.
            If it is through portfolios that is fine with me.
            Testing is different than the Standards themselves and I find it useful to separate them.

            I think you go from a few pieces of evidence that this is a national tragedy.
            First, the PARCC and SBAC tests will only be FIELD TESTED in 2014!
            Whatever people are doing now, is of their choosing.
            Both tests are aiming for the 2014-2015 school year for the actual tests!
            Lastly, repeating that students are cutting themselves because of this is a little strong. Even the author is on shaky ground. It just states that she saw the cuts. The leap that this is because of CCS is a strange one (which might be true, but is hardly proven by the article). A search of google came up with nothing for students cutting themselves related to the CCS (first 3 pages of results) (“Children who had been honor students were now failing and they were beginning to be stressed out and not wanting to go to school and some had begun “cutting” themselves from the stress!)

            That honor students would now fail is sad. And again if you can provide a citation that would be great. I would assume that this means all students are failing their regular classes – that the mediocre students are also failing.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            That some involved in the process will make money off it. Is true. I am not sure how much Gates will make. My guess is that is not what he is interested in. The big winner will be companies like Pearson and the Educational Testing Service.

            That k-3 teachers were not on should be bad. But can you tell me what should be included or what should be excluded? What did the child psychologists and specialists write?

            Some of the rest of your post like abolishing the state DOEs I disagree with, but do not want to discuss.

            And, I do not want you to be silent. In fact, I am looking forward to the citations with the relevant information you mentioned in your post. Best regards, Jeremy

  38. phillip maher says:

    So my previous comment has been removed I see.
    Anyone that doesn’t agree not worth listening to I take it?

  39. Virginia Terry says:

    You left one component out of your list of the 32,000, parents. Yes, there are parents standing behind you, too. Thank you for this very well written description of what is happening. It will be shared by this Momma BAT and probably by many more. Keep up the fight!

    • Meg Norris says:

      I did Virginia and I am terribly sorry! I think about the Badass Parents Association but there are also MANY parent BATs! This revolution will not be possible without parents. Teachers are being bullied. When you have dedicated your life to teaching leaving is very very hard. Teachers are peacemakers by nature. They take abuse after abuse. Parents need to Opt Out of ALL testing that is not written by and graded by their children’s teachers. This is a first step in brining down the corporate powerhouses that started this. Stand strong Virginia! We are legion!

  40. Donna K McNorrill says:

    Love Meg! She is AWESOME! I am blessed to call her friend!!!

    • Meg has it correct 100%….. I can’t quit teaching …. Because I love it… And I need to work ………. I love my students …..the very sad thing is…. I’ve had to go on meds….. To go to work…. Because of the stress that I am now under……… We can’t even breathe anymore in the classroom…. I have anxiety everyday…. And not from my precious students… From people who have no idea!!!!!!!!! What is going on…. my kids brains cand do this bullshit …. Not because they aren’t smart….. Because their brains aren’t ready — …. It makes me sick…

      • I’m sixty two years old, a lifelong Special Education teacher. This scourge IS upon us and it has been unfolding and evolving within the United States for many decades. All this is integrated within the UN educational goals defined within Agenda 21, first discussed in Rio in 1992 I believe. We are being shoved into global governance with the major changes being fully implemented by 2015. ….I’ve had an extraordinary life, spending the majority of my career outside the realm of gov’t schools. During the early 90’s I became involved with public schools in California and eventually Michigan, my home state. You see, my late life Miracle was born in 1994 in California. My paradigm shift in reality lead me to return to Michigan. Over the years we experienced or witnessed every atrocity imaginable within the context of gov’t schools. Everything we experienced was a result of my advocacy as an educator, and more importantly as a mother… My son experienced repeated forms of cognitive abuse over an extended period of time. This malignancy was subtle at times. We are in the midst of breathtaking emotional, spiritual, and intellectual abuse of all children. In an attempt to share our story, and wake others to this ever present danger, I made a simple website. The links page has many movies to be shared. Unfortunately all the curriculum samples are not currently available…. Meg, I am so inspired this morning to have the privilege and opportunity to read your letter, sent to me by another mom, steeped within the battle to save our children. Thank you for your courage and determination. God Bless You. Keta

      • Jeremy Greene says:

        Kristen, Could you be specific with what Standards are not appropriate for students brain development. Please post at least 3 specific ones for all here to see. Thanks, Jeremy

        • Ummm…. You now expect teachers to be doctors as well. Thank god my child will have you for an educator….. Find a new blog…. Go away

          • Never have…..

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Kristen, you wrote: “my kids brains can’t do this” “Because their brains aren’t ready”

            This is what you wrote!

            I was just wondering what Standards are not brain ready?

            All, I am asking for is a SINGLE STANDARD that is not appropriate. (I have been asking for ELA Standards. The main criticism of the Math from what I read is they go to slow)

            Why are my posts inappropriate for this blog?
            They are right on point.
            Is everyone who posts here (I got the story linked on Facebook) in agreement?
            FWIW, I would love to have a conversation preferably in replies to posts about how the CCS are inappropriate.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Also, I was not sure how to take: “Thank god my child will have you for an educator.”
            I do get this a lot, but not sure what it means here?
            Is your son/daughter in my district?

            My brain based knowledge is actually not great, just the knowledge of an interested educator.

  41. This is what John King really thinks of
    parents who “opt out”, or even complain
    about his “education reform.”

    King draws an asinine analogy between
    parents bitching about Common Core, or
    excessive or inappropriate-for-grade-level
    testing or whatever…


    the lack of restraint to a customer
    would show at a restaurant when that
    customer has a problem with
    the wine or food served to him:

    He puts himself in a higher order of class
    than those belly-aching parents because
    when a waiter brings him substandard
    food or wine… well… in such a situation,
    he doesn’t complain, or send it back. He
    sits there and eats it whether he likes it
    or not…

    (*** actual quote… no joke***)

    JOHN KING: “When I’m in a restaurant,
    and the waiter opens the bottle of wine for
    me to taste, I never say ‘No,’ send it back,
    even if it’s horrible. The same with my
    meal; if I don’t like it I’ll eat it anyway.”


  42. This is a parody—of Common Core-promoter
    and New York State Commissioner John
    King talking to his staff:

  43. Meg Norris is a hero!!!

    • I agree……………….

    • Jeremy Greene says:

      Heroes come cheap these days.

      She would be more of a hero (but still not close to what I would define as a hero) if she taught her students to:

      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
      CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.9 Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.

      These are the standards that she could not get her students to learn!
      I find these perfectly appropriate for grade 7 students whose goal it is to go to college.

      • Meg Norris says:

        I did teach those Jeremy. And my low-income kids did not get it. I scaffolded it, differentiated it, and broke it down. I lectured, I did small groups, I did warm-ups and I did think-pair-shares. I did Cloze readings and all of the other hundreds of ideas to help kids understand. I am not an idiot Jeremy and I think I have answered your questions. What about the kids who won’t go to college Jeremy? See this tells me that you have a very elitist attitude and you think all children learn the same as your white, upper-middle class students. This says a lot for where teacher training needs to focus.

        Seventh graders cannot EVALUTE or ANALYZE as these are abstract thinking skills not yet developed in most children. I am certain your wealthy white students are doing fine. They have computers at home and books and they know where their next meal is coming from. They aren’t worried if mom and dad will kill each other while they are at school or whether anyone will be home when they get home. They aren’t responsible for cleaning and dinner for 4 siblings. They don’t have to help every sibling with their homework before they can even think about their own. Open your eyes Jeremy. You really don’t have a clue. I am sad there are teachers in classrooms that have so little empathy.

        • Danielle DeNoble says:

          What a brave teacher you are! I think all teachers have just about the toughest job in the world. I’ve been homeschooling my children for over 10 years and I’m so glad that I’ve stuck with it….especially with the way so-called “education” is evolving. It’s very scary!

        • Jeremy Greene says:

          First, I am not sure how reading posts on a discussion board show if we have empathy or not. You actually have to know the person. That my writing in these posts does not have it for you (but does for the students), I will take as an observation. Not one that I think needs to change.

          Your use of race makes me extremely uncomfortable. So “white, upper-middle class students” can learn the CCS and “wealthy white students [will do] fine.” And poor students will not. Will poor Asian students do better or worse than the whites or better? Simply put, I do think that poor black, Hispanic, white, or whatever students can EVALUATE and ANALYZE just as well as anyone else. This is from experience. My first job out of college was working with students kicked out of Boston Public Schools. And I live in a small city in MA. And taught in the same small city. The scaffolding we need is learning the CCS skills beginning in K! Then we are not trying to do it all in 6th or 7th grade.

          • I thought I told Jeremy to go away……..You are disgusting…..I can’t not believe that you are actually an educator…..You are the most narrow minded human being….AGAIN….thank god my child will never cross your path as he goes through his next 6 years………………………

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            kwbb, I am not sure I get how this community works. Are you only supposed to post sympathetic (or the big word here empathetic) remarks? Or is it actually for “educated educators talking about education?” Which I am one of.

            I would like to think of myself as broad minded. I hope we can both agree that I am not the “[MOST] narrow minded human being].”

            Your child could still cross my path in the next 6 years too. Couldn’t they? Perhaps at a Model UN conference or Key Club convention or History Day fair or just randomly as I and they travel? So, perhaps not as close minded as you think.

            As to disgust, that is in the eye, ear, mouth, nose of the beholder. For my own tastes, nothing I have written is disgusting. Is writing in favor of CCS disgusting. To my mind, it is DISCUSSTING.

        • and Meg you are so very right. I have 50 percent of my students on free lunch. They come to school hungry. They may or may not of slept depending on how much mommy and daddy fought the night before…or maybe it is because they sleep in the same bed as their infant baby sister who cries all night….My school alone has 85 ELL students that speak approx. 40 different languages. I could go on and on and on……but I need to go to work to do the very best I can teaching my students whom I love and care about….and most of the them…..the common core and the constant testing is taking so much of the little self-esteem they have…….

        • Jeremy Greene says:

          Meg, more research. Unfortunately (for you) they are generally in support of my position although you might find some things to support yours.

          As to the appropriateness of the standards I think it is important that the National Center for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has mostly positive things to say about CCS:
          CAST’s critique is along the same lines:
          And a teacher/administrator in my district who is one of the UDL trainers agrees:
          From her blog: “These Anchor Standards are then broken down into developmentally appropriate levels of rigor for each grade.” She is a UDL trainer.

          I think when any teacher talks about the appropriateness of curriculum, UDL (and CAST) is the best place to go. I am sorry I did not cite them earlier for all here to see what they like and don’t like. And see how others respond to them.

          • There has been lots of evidence put forth for you to consider, from people who have credentials more impressive than mine. Our evidence is rooted in one very important place, which you have chosen to ignore: experience. We aren’t just making stuff up, we are practitioners who deal with it every day. Other than the anecdotal experiential evidence you spoke of earlier, it’s apparent that yours are very isolated. My arguments (and the reason I post letters like Meg’s) come from thousands of reports, stories, data, and legislative actions from around the country.

            And comparing the United States to other countries, as you should know by now, is an exercise in futility. Especially when several of those countries that were so “successful” with their national standards and testing requirements are publicly announcing that they wish to abandon those systems.

            The big problem here is, every bit of evidence you’ve given to support your arguments comes from the same general place: organizations and foundations that have a vested, financial interest in seeing that CCSS succeeds. In the comment I’m replying to now, you mentioned that CAST is a great place to go (and the UDL site, which CAST owns or adminsters or something). CAST is little more than a corporate-funded think tank, with a list of funders that doesn’t impress us very much (; we’ve seen identical lists under countless organizations that are currently trying to hurt our schools.

            Common Core wasn’t designed to help kids learn. It was designed to separate the cans and can’ts. It was designed to design the future workforce for corporate dominance in the 21st century (that’s not my opinion; if you need me to find the documents from those that helped fund it, I will, although they aren’t hard to find). It was designed to be tested. The funders and supporters make that clear at least weekly, as they push for more legislation to make sure that public schools are defunded and privatized, and to make sure that Title programs and IDEA laws are revamped to remove modifications for students with special needs.

            It is the epitome of one-size-fits-all. Common Core is the foundation of the movements that are being made to undermine what was once the envy of the modern world.

            Step away from articles that patently endorse your thoughts, Mr. Greene, you might learn something new.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Kris, I am a teacher. I am also on two regional boards for history and one international for teaching. I am also very involved in many listservs – too many – if you ask my wife and subscribe to many newsfeeds on Facebook for history and education as the web admin for the New England History Teachers Association. In other words, I am around teacher talk every day! Way more than most!

            I am sorry if the endorsement of UDL and CAST don’t impress you. They are inarguably two of the major forces in breaking down barriers and making education and schooling accessible to all. Instead of the funders, I think you should focus on what they do.

            I am not sure if you read the link to CAST. Although it is a general endorsement, much of it is a critique of the CCS. Katie Novak is a real person. So am I (I am not as into them as she is).

            We disagree with the motives of the Common Core.
            We probably also disagree with the motives of the teachers who support CCS:
   (Spoiler alert: Kris doesn’t agree with polls done by NEA because they have taken money from supporters of the CCS)

            • Welcome to America. Money buys a lot of trust. AFT did a similar poll, which was shown to be faulty. NEA has the same problem. Mercedes Schneider is pretty smart with stuff like that. Check it out:

              Also, I’ve been following CAST for a while now. I do appreciate their semblance of balance, but I’m not buying it. Same with Education Week. They pretend to be balanced by allowing bloggers to make statements refuting education reform, but then they use their loudest media to push for corporate reform.

              What blew me away is that you actually cited the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Do you know who they are? Who’s next for you–StudentsFirst?

              And it doesn’t matter if you disagree with me about the motives of Common Core. They aren’t my motives or my opinions. They are the motives and the ideas from the people on that list of CAST’s supporters.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Kris, I am not sure which countries are dropping national standards. I would welcome links. Thanks.

            Also, the evidence or experience you are offering is about 10 teachers on a site complaining about the CCS. All teachers who have not clearly stated why a single (ELA) CCS is inappropriate.

            I posed a simple challenge earlier which I helped Meg meet when she said any standard with analyze was unacceptable. But the APA and the therapist above agreed with the standards that 5th grade is when that type of thinking starts (admittedly, this might be a bit of a stretch for others – but it is I believe two standards out of many in 5th grade).

            That is all for now. Look forward to your reply. Especially one with a standard or better yet several standards that are misplaced wrong for the age or grade or something else.

            • Still about the challenge? Apparently we haven’t made it clear enough that the point isn’t about individual standards, but you keep changing the subject from other topics to go back to your challenge.

              Here’s my answer to your challenge. Rather than rewriting an entire chapter of something I already worked on, I will summarize:

              I don’t support content standards in grades K-5, period. They are unnecessary, they have no evidence of efficacy for future success–neither economically no personal. National standards (or any content standards) and accompanying assessment scores have no correlation of national economic success. They do not support free and open education, and they do not lift kids out of poverty.

              Which standards are inappropriate? Every single Kindergarten standard, to start. Kindergarten should be organic and social; it should not be standardized and common.

              When the Common Core becomes the focus of education (which it already has, in many cases), it will be the only game in town. To meet those standards, many kids are giving up major parts of being kids. Congratulations on your associations and information feeds. As I said before, it’s time to broaden them a little.

          • Jeremy — you opening sentence— “I am a teacher” is what is wrong with the profession…. Please do the children in the USA a favor …. Take your districts early retirement package …. Hopefully one is being offered this year….

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Kristen, how is me being a teacher what is wrong with the profession.
            Google my name and world history teacher and see some of my writings and what I do in class.
            That you think you can judge a teacher and their teaching by comments on a message board does not speak well for you.

            I would proffer that my comments have been among the best and most informed on the list. Or should we all agree with you to keep our jobs?

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Kris, the link to the critique of the survey was underwhelming and makes the case that the survey is correct but draws too highly on NY state. Conclusion: it would have been nice if the sample was bigger and only math and ELA teachers. It in no way refutes the poll or tries to. In essence, of 800 teachers surveyed 75% CCS.

            I would raise your CAST funders with CAST partners: This to me, speaks more to what CAST is about. And this is my experience.

            I do not think I cited the Foundation for Excellence in Education. If I did I am unaware of it. Please show me where I did this. Are you confusing them with the Fordham Foundation which I cited for their research and critiques of state standards? I do not agree with the political leanings of the Fordham Foundation but find their reports useful. Do you?

            If you have suggestions of useful FB feeds. I would look forward to them.

            Still looking forward to the list of countries getting rid of national standards.

            I will post my thoughts on the K-5 standards above.

          • Jeremy Greene says:

            Kris, Grant Wiggins on the developmentally appropriateness of the standards and test items (He, like me is not a big fan of testing – see his first comment in the threads):

        • Okay, so now the truth begins to come out. Meg has students who are” worried if mom and dad will kill each other while they are at school or whether anyone will be home when they get home. They [are] responsible for cleaning and dinner for 4 siblings. They have to help every sibling with their homework before they can even think about their own.”
          And yet she’s blaming the CURRICULUM for their stress and cutting?!

          Also, if a teacher thinks that “seventh graders cannot EVALUTE or ANALYZE as these are abstract thinking skills not yet developed in most children” then it’s no wonder the education system was in failure.


  1. […] To My Students: ‘I Love You and Believe in You’ The Chalk Face BY KRIS NIELSEN with Guest Post by Meg Norris November 2, 2013 […]

  2. […] but these federally-shaped programs have been pushing teachers out of the profession for years. Meg Norris wrote a touching letter to her students explaining that she loved and respected them so much […]

  3. […] Meg Norris wrote a touching letter to her students explaining that she loved and respected them so much that she had to leave the profession so she could fight Common Core. A woman of conscience, she couldn’t watch the frustration that the poorly-designed curriculum and forced teaching methods created for students. Norris could not watch children lose their love of learning because inappropriate standards had been created by a group of corporate entities who make money through data collection and production of resources now required in the corporate classroom. […]

  4. […] allow them to do what they do best how they best know to do it.    Google it and you find stories all over the internet of teachers who loved their profession, loved feeling like they could affect […]

  5. […] Meg Norris wrote a touching letter to her students explaining that she loved and respected them so much that she had to leave the profession so she could fight Common Core. A woman of conscience, she couldn’t watch the frustration that the poorly-designed curriculum and forced teaching methods created for students. Norris could not watch children lose their love of learning because inappropriate standards had been created by a group of corporate entities who make money through data collection and production of resources now required in the corporate classroom […]

  6. […] To My Students: ‘I Love You and Believe in You’ – @ THE CHALK FACE. […]

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