Susan Kimball, Tonya Pobst, and Heather Drury are all educators in the state of Missouri who have taken a stand against Common Core, a controversial new set of academic standards that critics say will “dumb down” America’s children and open the door for data mining activities on students.
“When my students walk into my classroom, I have a responsibility not only to those students — I have a responsibility to those parents,” Pobst said on the Glenn Beck Program Wednesday with guest hosts Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray. “These parents are entrusting me with their children … and I feel it’s my duty morally, ethically, to let them know, this is how your child has to be taught now. I don’t have any freedom.”
Kimball added that the new standards are so controlled that — rather than just being given the material to teach — teachers are given “scripts” to read, as well. She said if a student responds to a lesson with a certain question, teachers are told to read a corresponding line from the script. She also said educators have no power to alter the curriculum to cater to the needs of students who learn differently.
Another often-voiced concern of Common Core is that — because of the radically different way subjects like math are being taught — parents will be unable to help their children, leaving America’s youth completely dependent on the state for their education.
“Frustrated parent” Jeff Severt has a bachelor of science degree in electronics engineering, and was unable to help his second grader with his math homework because of the convoluted steps required to subtract 316 from 427.
Drury shares the concern, saying the worksheet-intensive nature of Common Core also makes it much more difficult for parents to completely examine what their children are learning.
“It’s trying to keep parents kind of out of the loop of what’s going on in our schools,” she said simply. “That’s very concerning to me.”
Kimball added: “They say they’re not, but they’re changing our history and I’ve seen some examples of that. And that scares me to death, to be honest.”
All three are concerned their jobs are at risk because they spoke out, but hope their stand will encourage other teachers to voice their concerns, as well.
“We need to remove it,” Pobst concluded.
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