Last week, Ralph Ratto, an elementary school teacher from Long Island, NY, and president of his local teacher’s union, described his dismay after administering the Common Core standardized tests to his class:
Today was the first day I was ever ashamed to be a teacher.
Today I finished administering the sixth day of New York State Common Core assessments. I was a facilitator in a process that made my 10-year-old students struggle ,to the point of frustration, to complete yet another 90-minute test. I sat by as I watched my students attempt to answer questions today that were beyond their abilities. I knew the test booklets I put in front of them contained questions that were written in a way that 95 percent of them had no chance of solving. I even tried to give my students a pep talk, in hopes of alleviating their angst, when I knew !@#$%^&* well they didn’t stand a chance. Today I was part of the problem.
As I watched my students, I was angry that my efforts to stop this madness were not successful. I was angry at my students’ parents for not opting out their children. I was angry at my administrators for not stepping up to the plate and attempting to end this madness. I was angry at Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Education Commissioner King, the N.Y. Board of Regents, my state senator, my state assemblyman, President Obama, and even my state union. I was angry that my students were victims in the abusive game to drive a political agenda…