20x the Testing with #CCSS: Are Teachers Being Told the TRUTH About Common Core? Is the #AFT Poll More “Junk Science”? Will #CCSS be the Most Devastating Ed Policy in US History?

Dear Bill and Melinda,

One of our readers commented on our recent blog post,

If the Hart Research poll method is so reliable, then TEST only .09% of ALL children? :

“There is a greater problem with the AFT-reported result of 75% of AFT teachers “overwhelmingly approving” of Common Core: most teachers polled responded that they “somewhat approve,” not “strongly approve.” Hart/AFT erased this detail from their reporting:  Hart-Weingarten and Power Point Deception

If teachers “overwhelmingly approve” of Common Core, then why won’t Hart/AFT publicize complete survey results?

I’ll tell you why: They are playing the same data manipulation game the reformers play, and that is keep the public in the dark on details so that the AFT predetermined position of pro-Common Core can be promoted as “what teachers want.”

I had a response on the Huffington Post regarding this issue from a woman, Jasmine D. Gary, telling me to not “nitpick the non-issue” of AFT deception in survey reporting:

As it turns out, Ms. Gary is a former intern with AFT who has two years of TFA teaching experience and is now an “education specialist” in RI with Deborah Gist (check it out on linkedin.)

I should have added above that I love the premise of your post.

I’ll bet the testing companies would be fine with .09% of their anticipated profits.”   ~  Mercedes Schneider

That’s interesting, because Jasmine D. Gary has been defending Ms. Weingarten on Common Core and the survey for several days now.  Why is a defense needed?

“And that’s why @rweingarten called for a break on the stakes. CCSS improves learning but high stakes & no PD can kill it.” ~ Jasmine Gary

“PD needs to focus on improved instruction of rigorous focused standards.” ~ Jasmine Gary

And when I said to Jasmine:

“Strategy is #stopcommoncore not measly moratorium. Start over, democratic process.”

She replied:

“So that ppl can play politics with public education. No way! Improve CCSS implementation!”

To which I said:

“Why is it perfectly fine to let @billgates & David Coleman play politics w/ public Ed 4 profit?”

Ms. Weingarten has stated the following:

“u mean made up controversy b/c 74% of @AFTunion teachers polled both favor #ccss & feel unprepared.”

“far more than “1” critiqued- may not have been enough, but teachers were involved”

“testing has perverted the standards- but the content is very important”

“-Susan you are just wrong abt this-educators critqued the standards;they were changed based on their input”

Then Randi said:

“Susan-the civ rts grps will answer, but you are missing their point. Please listen to them.”

To which I replied:

“I am happy to listen, Randi. They deserve to know the truth vs propaganda, however – right? #CCSSTests

Jasmine Gary touched on another issue:

“Status quo us failing these students with low expectations & no rigor.” [I think she meant “is” vs “us”.]

“1 cause of gap is unequal expectations for student learning outcomes.”

Anthony Cody joined in the conversation too, and stated:

“Debate over content of standards is secondary to the nature of stds in a hi stakes paradigm”

Perhaps my blood boils the most when I think about Randi telling me that the civil rights groups support Common Core State Standards. When asked, Randi listed @NCLR @EdTrust @Lccrbayarea @MALDEF and @NAACP as supporters of CCSS.

Why do they support CCSS?  And why does their support make my blood boil?

  • If the civil rights groups are being informed using the same propaganda our teachers are being fed, then their opinions will be skewed along with the opinions of teachers.
  • If a huge achievement gap already exists for the very students these groups are working to protect, increased rigor and increased test difficulty will further widen the gap for these students.  More students will fail and more schools will be closed.

A tweet by Anthony Cody stated:

“Quote fr Investment analyst: “If Common Core has teeth, Performance gap will grow!”

@KTeacherNYC and I tweeted every one of the civil rights groups Randi cited with this same statement [one example shown]:

“When 20x #CCSSTests begin to fail Black/Latino kids, close schools, will @MALDEF support #CCSS then? Too late?”

I then posted this article Pulling Back the Curtain on Common Core to each civil rights group. Randi replied immediately by stating:

“-i know we have several classroom teachers review it…i have asked our folks to respond @AFTunion

Then Mike C. commented on our blog:

“As a member of the AFT this survey and its reporting sickens me and only reaffirms my belief that the AFT is the slyest wolf of all in the latest education reform movement. Instead of leading the charge in stopping the absurdity of a nationalized curriculum, standardized testing, and a standardized evaluation tool, the AFT chooses to mislead its members with a bogus poll that is slanted to make the individual teacher who opposes the current reform measures feel as though they are in the minority.
When the day comes when students, parents, and teachers pull their resources together and organize into a single voice and overturn these crippling educational policies, the AFT must be held accountable for their obvious support of policies that infringe upon the true teaching profession…” ~ Mike C., AFT Union Member

So, Bill and Melinda… why is Randi Weingarten so defensive about Common Core?  Could it be that those of us who are speaking out in opposition are peeling back the curtain?  Could it be that this support is based on your propaganda?  Could it be because both progressives and the right are beginning to see through this undemocratic corporate sham?

Could it be that the Common Core will become the most devastating education policy in American history and that Randi has the legacy of joining you in support of this policy?

What will AFT members really think about Common Core when they find out that it comes as a package deal with 20x the amount of testing currently required?

Jasmine Gary said:

“That’s if districts keep current testing practices/calendar in place.”

District test facilitators know that the “20x the amount of testing” is coming, but no one from our districts are telling us teachers this truth.  No one from our union leadership is telling us this truth.  You aren’t telling us this truth.

Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian have been telling us this all along.

Krashen wrote about the testing increase, warning teachers, parents, the public, and policy makers here:

“I wonder how the poll results would turn out if those taking the poll realized that the common core state (sic) standards mean a massive increase in testing and will be very expensive, at a time when money is very tight. My estimate is that the common core will require about 20 times the amount of testing that NCLB requires, with more subjects and grade levels tested, interim tests, and maybe even pretests in the fall.”  ~ Stephen Krashen, NABE Weekly eNews, (2012)

Why are we asking YOU this question though, Bill and Melinda?

Susan Ohanian says it so well here:

“The Common Core State Standards exist because the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wanted them. To help their aide-de-camps, the president and the U. S. Secretary of Education, pretend that these are state and not national standards, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sent buckets of money to the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers to act as sponsors. More tons of money to the National PTA to spread the good word and so on. As I revealed in an article in Extra![ix] very few media have pointed to the money source. Of course very few media even bother to mention anything about the Common Core.”

So, Randi, Bill, and Melinda… we are using our TEACHER VOICE… can you hear us now?

If we increase rigor and increase the rigor of CCSS-aligned high-stakes testing via PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia by 20x [2000%] the amount of current testing, then what will we take off our plates?  When exactly will we teach meaningful and engaging content?

But more importantly, what will CCSS and CCSS testing really do to our children?  Our teachers? Our schools?  Our communities?

Will these tests fail more children in poverty, more Black and Latino children, more ELLs and children in Special Education?  Will the teacher evaluations based on these more rigorous standards and tests fail more teachers?  Will they close more schools?

Will these Common Core NATIONAL Standards and testing policies really be the most devastating education policy in US history?

A moratorium on this CCSS testing is not nearly enough. 20x the testing a year later will not help students and teachers.  As it is, there is not enough time in the day to teach meaningfully with the current amount of testing on our plates.

Teachers, use your TEACHER VOICE… Tell @billgates, @gatesed, @gatesfoundation, @rweingarten, @AFTUnion, @NEAMedia, @NEAToday,  to #StopCommonCore.

Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates


About Highlighting Members' Needs

We are running for the following Renton Education Association positions because we believe in the following planks: Becca Ritchie, Candidate for REA President, Nelsen Middle School, Computer Tech Susan DuFresne, Candidate for Primary Executive Board, Maplewood Heights Elementary, Integrated Kindergarten ✅  Demanding a healthy work-load/life balance. ✅  Bargaining competitive professional compensation. ✅  Challenging the status quo test culture with: Less is more! ✅  Emphasizing our professional expertise. ✅  Prioritizing equity and access for all. ✅  Utilizing 2-way 21st century communication tools. ✅  Acting in solidarity with all unions. ✅  Supporting ALL members. ✅   Implementing developmentally appropriate K-3 curriculum/assessment.
This entry was posted in AFT CCSS Poll, AFT Union, Common Core, Common Core High Stakes Testing, Common Core State Standards, Randi Weingarten and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 20x the Testing with #CCSS: Are Teachers Being Told the TRUTH About Common Core? Is the #AFT Poll More “Junk Science”? Will #CCSS be the Most Devastating Ed Policy in US History?

  1. Pingback: 20x the Testing with #CCSS: Are Teachers Being Told the TRUTH About Common Core? Is the #AFT Poll More “Junk Science”? | Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates ← NPE News Briefs

  2. Don Corley says:

    Twenty times the testing may be an understatement for some districts. My former district (retired) developed its own practice tests for reading and math which was given three times a year (once after regular state testing was done!). EL students also were tested three additional times (in Spanish), the last battery having to be completed in the same window as state testing. On top of this, teachers were REQUIRED to test each student three times during the year individually on reading passages. This meant a minimum of 15 – 20 minutes per child while the rest of the class worked independently (more if the teacher had to test a student on a higher or lower level). A teacher with 33 students (not uncommon in upper elementary) would need a minimum of 10 – 12 hours each cycle to complete this process. This is another 6 days of teaching lost.

    The push in the district is to teach so as to prepare students to take the tests, not to give them a well-rounded education. Result = stressed, bored, ill-educated students and very frustrated and stressed teachers.

  3. Pingback: Ed Beat–Read it and Weep: Twenty Times More; Activism; Strike!; Proipaganda; Empathy; Book Report | Citizen Journalists Exchange

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