Interview With 5th Grade Teacher Who Was Ij The Room When Common Core Being Created

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A scathing interview with a 5th grade teacher who was in the room when Common Core was being created
May. 22, 2014 11:28am Benjamin Weingarten
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The below represents the second in a series of interviews with everyday Americans who are fighting back against Common Core, released in connection with Glenn Beck’s new book, “Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education.”

We spoke with Brad McQueen, a 5th grade teacher from Arizona who after working on the development/review of rubrics and questions on the PARCC/Common Core test grew disgusted with what he was seeing and decided to speak out about it, ultimately self-publishing a book titled “The Cult of Common Core.”

Our interview was conducted via email, with slight alterations for grammar and brevity.

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1. Speak to your background and why you took an interest in Common Core specifically and public education more broadly?
Brad McQueen. (Image Source: Amazon.com)

Brad McQueen. (Image Source: Amazon.com)

McQueen: I’ve been a 5th grade teacher in public schools for the last ten years. I’ve always worked in schools that give teachers a great deal of autonomy in the classroom to use whatever teaching methods they feel are useful to teach their students over and above the minimum state standards. I have also experienced schools where they prescribe how and what teachers teach in the classroom and it was pure agony to witness.

I first heard of the Common Core standards, when they were adopted here in AZ back in 2010, when I was at our State Department of Education working our state’s standardized test, the AIMS test. I’ve worked on every facet of the AIMS test for the last 5 years. The attitude amongst my fellow teachers and the state employees that summer was that they were the same-old-thing-with-another-name programs that we would have to implement at some point…we were still too busy teaching the old state standards, and creating tests based on them, that we just put off dealing with them until we had to. The scuttlebutt (I’ve always wanted to use that word and now I have) at the AZ Dept of Ed was that the standards were an Obama administration program, and with the elections coming up in 2012 there was a chance that the Common Core standards would go away should Obama lose the election.

A year ago (3/2013), the AZ Dept of Ed asked me to go to Chicago for a week to work on evaluating the writing/reading rubrics for the Common Core/PARCC test. I didn’t have an opinion on Common Core either way. I was curious and I wanted to see what the standards would look like in test form and how that might inform my classroom teaching, so I went. Most teachers were waiting for the Common Core test to come out for the same reason.

Teachers in AZ have a great deal of input into the state test. Teachers create the test and we had the ability to change or tweak test questions if we detected a bias or if we thought the questions or reading passages weren’t truly assessing our students’ learning.

Working on the CCore test was a very different experience and had 50 more shades of bureaucracy. My Common Core handlers weren’t interested in my questions about where the standards came from, who wrote them, who wrote the test questions, etc. If they did attempt an answer they usually parroted the phrase “Teachers were involved.” Something didn’t feel right.

My turning point came when in answer to questions I had about a student writing sample, my Common Core handler blurted out, “We don’t ever care what the kids’ opinions are. If they write what they think or put forth their opinion then they will fail the test.”

“We don’t ever care what the kids’ opinions are. If they write what they think…they will fail…”

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ALERT ALERT

New York's Green Light Law - Allows Illegal Aliens To Get Driver’s Licenses

New York passed a law to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses earlier this year but it was held up by challenges.

Now it is set to take effect this week.

In typical leftist fashion, supporters claim this is going to somehow make New York’s roads safer for everyone.

Could it really be about voting?

FOX News reports:

Illegal immigrants to be able to get driver’s licenses in NY after legal challenge fails.

Illegal immigrants in New York will able to obtain driver’s licenses starting next week after a last-minute legal challenge was dismissed — making it the 13th state to allow the practice, but one that critics say is unconstitutional.

The Green Light Law, signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, allows anyone to apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status and does not require a Social Security number.

Illegal immigrants can use a combination of documents that include a valid passport from a foreign country and a valid foreign driver’s license, as long as it has been expired for less than two years.

“After waiting 18 years to have their right to drive restored, thanks to our legislature, New York can now officially join 12 other states in making driver’s licenses legally available to all residents,” New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Steve Choi said in a statement this week, arguing that it will make roads safer and the economy stronger.

County clerks in New York have concerns and are sounding an alarm.

CBS News in Albany reports:

County clerks concerned by loopholes in Green Light law.

Undocumented immigrants now have the green light to get a driver’s license in New York…but several county clerks in the Capital Region are concerned.

Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner said, “We found that everything we were concerned about as far as fraud and all sorts of other things are in that bill, in that regulation and we’re very concerned.”

Hayner tells CBS6’s Lynsey Smith there are a few loopholes in the Green Light Law.

Loopholes, such as a person coming in to get their license and not having to provide their social security number.

“That could lead to criminals coming from other states, coming in and use that as a way to defraud by just simply saying they don’t have a social security number…and that’s a very dangerous loophole,” replied Hayner.

Does anyone believe this is going to make New York safer or that this is really about driving?

Delusional Democrats

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