Last fall a mother shared some information with me in an email she had sent. I recently saw this mother. I asked and received permission to post the text of a letter. SB 6030 and SB 6122 are mentioned. Even though it appears both of these bills have died, this mother’s letter conveys a message from the heart. The mother read her letter to Senator Dammeier at a Town Hall meeting in Puyallup. Here is her letter:
I am here tonight to ask that you support SB 6030 and help eliminate Common Core and the Smarter Balance Assessment from our schools. I am here tonight to ask that you really listen to parents and teachers. We are with our children every day and see what Common Core and high-stakes testing is doing to our kids. At the beginning stages of Common Core, I kept an open mind. After all, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Not always, but in this case, it’s not good! I was willing to give it a try, but after seeing the effects that it has had on my own kids and hearing stories from others with the same experiences, I started doing research.
My eyes are wide open! Thousands of parents and teachers here in Washington State and across the country have concerns with the Common Core Standards, high-stakes testing and the curriculum being taught in the classroom. Does this not raise a red flag? How can we stand by and allow our children to be used as guinea pigs as they are exposed to inappropriate standards, tests and curriculum that were never tested or validated before being implemented?
My issues boil down to a few things:
* The standards themselves have caused a poor choice of curriculum in the Bethel School District called Engage NY Math which will become Eureka Math.
My daughter feels that she is not good in math and she has not always felt this way. It takes her hours to complete her math homework and I struggle to help her. She excels with “old” math, the way WE were taught to do math.
* We have also found that teachers quickly teach a concept and quickly move on to the next. Teachers are being forced to teach to the test. This is not teaching. This is not TRUE learning. My daughter has a very good memory and has never had the problem of not remembering how to do something until Common Core. Common Core and over testing has taken her love of learning away and is dumbing her down.
*My oldest, who is an honors student, is in high school and has recently been diagnosed with depression. He has lost his motivation to do the things he loves to do, like play soccer and hang out with his friends. I have seen him through a critical time when he was cutting himself and talking to his friends about killing himself. He has a hard time sleeping at night, due to depression and I struggle to get him to school. He is very smart and has so much potential, but instead of getting him ready for college and career, he is on the verge of dropping out of school and no longer has dreams of going to college. Neither one of my kids will be exposed to the added stress and anxiety that Common Core and the high-stakes tests create.
*Parents losing trust in schools and districts due to secrecy and lies about Parent Refusal Rights from adults we are supposed to trust with our children. This is what Common Core and high-stakes testing has done to our schools. Because of my experience with my daughter’s school and our district, and hearing several similar experiences, I have recently pulled my daughter out of school. If SB 6030 does not pass, I will be pulling my son from public school as well. My children’s well being is more important to me than closing some gap or competing with the rest of the world- when such students don’t always test at the ages that Americans have to.
*What do we do ten years from now when you finally start seeing that this is not working?
This is our children’s future. We can’t just say oops! Our children do not get these years back!
Please support SB 6030 and SB 6122 and get rid of Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessment as well as de-link tests for graduation requirements.
Thank you for your time.