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Jennifer Rickert is an elementary school teacher in upstate Néw York. She loves teaching. She has taught for 22 years. She tried her best to implement the Common Core. She was enthusiastic about doing it right. But when she read the guidelines for the Spring 2015 tests, she concluded her students were being set up for failure. She can’t do it.
She explains why in this post.
She details each of her objections to the test, including the fact that some passages may be written at a level suitable for eleventh-graders (her students are age 11 and 12). And students will be asked to choose the “right answer” when some answers are “plausible” but not the right answer.
She summarizes why she will not give the test:
“In summary, we are going to ask 11-year-olds to read and comprehend passages that are taken from higher grades, some at 5 years above their level, with controversial and provocative language, based on abstract literature and historical documents that the students have not learned about yet, and choose an answer from several plausible choices? We are going to have our students spend nine hours of seat time, allowing extra time for our Special Education students, on these inappropriate tests? (Add another nine hours for math.)
“And after all is said and done, we will reduce each child to a number: 4, 3, 2, or 1, based on their performance, providing the teachers and parents with little to no information about what they can and cannot do?
“No. No, I cannot.”