Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, October 7, 2013

Common Core Is Making Kids Hate School And Learning

This came up more than once at today's school meetings - kids are really starting to hate school and there has been a lot more acting out this year than in previous years.

Both math and ELA teachers who are teaching the new Common Core curriculum materials say students hate the new lessons and have grown disengaged with the learning process already (and it's only October!)

Guidance counselors are saying there have been many more problems that they're trying to deal with this year, things like conflict issues, depression and suicidal feelings.

Art teachers say the kids hate art class now because all they do is read articles about art and write argumentative essays about those articles.

One teacher said her own child seems to no longer have the same joy and enthusiasm for learning or for school that he once had - the stress of the testing has taken all of that from him.

Every time you change something, there are intended consequences and unintended consequences.

You can read the Gates Foundation pamphlets and Arne Duncan's twitter feed for the intended consequences of the Common Core.

I'm more interested in the unintended consequences (or at least, what should be unintended consequences.)

The stress level for kids and teachers has been ratcheted up several levels, teachers and students are already feeling burnt out by the Common Core curriculum changes, teacher evaluation changes, the monthly diagnostic exams, and all the other changes wrought by the Race to the Top reforms, students are acting out or becoming disengaged from their classes and there are some serious social and emotional issues showing up more and more with the kids that ought to be a red flag to somebody (i.e., kids being taken to Bellevue for suicidal feelings, more kids being put on anti-depressants, more kids acting out with self-harming behaviors like cutting themselves, alcohol and drug use, etc.)

The cynic in me wonders just how much of this stuff is an unintended consequence of the Gates/Broad/Obama/Cuomo/Bloomberg reform movement.

Certainly making kids hate school will surely increase the drop out rate, make the test scores go down, etc. - things the boys in charge love because it gives them more excuses to use the "death penalty" on schools.

If you think that privatization of the system is the aim of the reform movement, that socializing children to grow into compliant drones who follow orders is the aim of the reform movement - as I do - then you're not so sure these problems that are creeping up are unintended consequnces.

Regardless of whether these are intended or unintended, people are starting to notice and call the whole reform movement and the Common Core into question.

This sort of thing is showing up on Twitter:

Or this:

The Common Core proponents and reformers are feeling the push back over their standards and their reforms.

They think they can beat it back by marginalizing critics (as Arne Duncan has done) or ignoring the criticism (as John King has done.)

But the anti-testing and anti-reform wave is building.

You can hear it in the things that teachers are saying, the things parents are saying, the things kids are saying.

Many of the people who talk about the insanity of the Core started out as supporters.

But people have seen the damage that the Common Core and the ancillary tests that come with it are doing to children and to schools.

When you make kids hate school and learning, it's a problem.

CCSS proponents can try and jive their way out of it all they want.

Parents can see for themselves what is happening and not even an endless amount of propaganda or lies can change that.


  1. I've always been an excellent student in math, although I never favored the subject. I'm a junior in high school and now failing algebra 2. I don't even want to go to school at all anymore.

    1. I know me too, I used to love math, now it's just stressing me out and making me lose my will to go to school

  2. My once enthusiastic learner wants nothing to do with school work. She hates to open a book now. The harder I have tried to teach her the way common core wants her to think the more uninterested she is. Everyone would always tell me how bright and cleverly smart she was. Now she uses her cleverness to get out of doing anything that makes her feel like I am trying to teach her something.She has already convinced herself it's not worth the effort, because good is never good enough and many times the correct answer does not fit the common core question, Not even to the Adults trying to help her answer a second grade Question.

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  4. Common core gives me suicidal fantasies and I feel like I'm a failure. I daydream during class of me hanging myself in the field outside. I hate Common Core.