BooksA scathing interview with a 5th grade teacher who was in the room when Common Core was being createdMay. 22, 2014 11:28am Benjamin Weingarten11.4KSharesThe 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.For more content like this, be sure to give Blaze Books a follow on Facebook and Twitter.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…”Share:To Read More go to www.commieblaster.comArticle is from The Blaze
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