Veteran Teacher Tells Legislators that Opponents of CC are Correct

This is one video not to miss. Calling the standards shallow and dehumanizing, veteran Indiana teacher Bonnie Fisher testifies to state legislators telling them that Common Core’s opponents’ arguments are all correct. Her testimony is 7 and a half minutes. Then there is about 15 minutes of questioning by the legislators.

The first legislator’s comments include a fascinating insight into historical literacy rates by stating in his research about literacy in the early days of the country, 70-100% of citizens were counted as literate as estimated by the percentage of citizens that would read newspaper articles defending the Constitution (ie. The Federalist Papers).That’s a stunning revelation when we realize that most high school graduates would have a very difficult time wading through the vocabulary presented in those arguments. I’d guess it would probably drop our comparable literacy rate to about 10% of students today. Perhaps college and career ready should be better defined as “Federalist Paper ready.” If students were prepared for such a book, there would be no question they would be college and career ready in terms of English preparation.

She continues with an explanation of who benefits from a dumbed-down population. Then a stunner at the end. A legislator asks her under what standards she went through education growing up and she announced there were none. Ms. Fisher is asked what did she experience that allowed her to become so well educated. She states 3 things: broad academic exposure to traditional academic subjects, some fine teachers, and studying Cicero through high school. She ends by saying the teaching methods may need adjusted from older ages of education but we need to return to the content that used to be taught.

 

7 thoughts on “Veteran Teacher Tells Legislators that Opponents of CC are Correct”

  1. Watching this I found myself agreeing with everything this veteran teacher said although I have not been in the public school system for a few years. Textbooks got larger with less content matter, lots of pictures and busy work but not with education. Common Core does not only dumb down the students, but also the teachers. A good teacher might have the personality to show students s/he cares but an excellent teacher will have the personality and find teaching a calling. They are never off, they are always thinking of their students and content matter. They see an advertisement, a newspaper article, read a book, etc and will immediately think of how it fits into the lesson they are teaching at school. They will constantly change lesson plans add new things, take old things out, always moving with the needs of the students and with social events, making the lessons interesting and relating them to the students. Common Core does not allow for that. It is very rigorous in what has to be taught and when and how, there is no room for individualizing the lessons to fit the teachers personality and to fit the students in each separate class. Common core is going to attract a complete different set of personalities than teaching has attracted so far. Many excellent teachers feel it is more of a calling because they are not being paid much for the work anyway but they feel strongly that their contribution makes a difference in the lives of the children and the future of this country. The new teachers are not going to care that much about the students or teaching methods, they are going to be followers, people who are good in following instructions without any creativity. Those excellent teachers will find other professions where they can be themselves without getting in trouble because the did not follow instructions meticulously. Common core is going to fail student and teachers and raise blind followers instead of independently thinking children.

  2. You can tell this is on my mind all morning. With common core we won’t need teachers. A computer can do the informing and testing, we just need enforcers of the new standards and laws. Teachers as instructors are going to be obsolete. I assume you can guess what kind of people this new breed of teachers is going to attract. Those who love power and authority but not the good leaders who lead with love and compassion. Enforcers of the law instead of teachers is what we’ll have. I think we might have to look into moving to a different country.

  3. “Who benefits from ignorance?” That is the question I keep coming back to from this presentation. It is certainly NOT our children. This teacher stated the effects of common core well when she said, “how shallow, how dehumanizing to our children, how pernicious to our republic.” I wish we could put this grand woman in charge of national education. I have started to home school my children this year attempting to give them a more “classical” approach to education. I am finding it somewhat difficult to teach this way because I was not educated this way…..I feel that I am the product of the dumbing-down of America. I am having to learn right along with them.

  4. DeeDee don’t quit! From a long line of defenders of this country, I’m staying. The progressive nut jobs who want to change it need to go back to where they came from.

    Indiana is lucky to have Bonnie Fisher! Note how staggering literacy has been over the years and hasn’t resuscitated after billions of dollars are thrown at it. I enjoy the fact that a study of the federalist papers would lend to student’s readiness w/o having a Dept. of Education as the legislator indicated here.

    I appreciate how Fisher sites that the subject matter is now, “without staying power.” Parents and teachers are not looking into the library books nor questioning the watered down abridged versions for their child’s intellect. It isn’t that time consuming to understand the difference between dressed up garbage vs value in good reads. No one should settle for “at least their reading…” as long as there are better choices, stimulating books for all ages—the classics. Start a personal list. My children took a list to school in a folder (in their backpack) everyday. They learned first hand that what the library offers is rarely on our list. They know the difference between fluff and weighty thought provoking valuable respect for their time. When your child comes home indicating that they had another empty assembly, they get it.

    Indeed CCSS, “…standards will ensure an ignorant adult population who have internalized and exceeded to the authorities prerogative to tell them that they don’t measure up…” going on to describe the consequences of this social gap. “College and career ready, that’s it!” angers the best educators when they see this developing. “How shallow, how dehumanizing…to our children! …how pernicious to our Republic!” Study it out for yourself but “…then DUMP the standards and restore teaching the traditional academic subjects.” No doubt teachers who inspire rather than force lend to one’s education as the classics have done for this motivated educator remaining in context.

    About vocabulary, “…restricted to a certain list” She said. It’s a significant 74% decline http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/08/moral-decline-words-we-use/56142/ American books from 1901 to 2000 lack the appearance of words “related to moral excellence and virtue.” Published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, two studies for the paper noted 10 words related personal value: character, conscience, decency, dignity, ethics, morality, rectitude, righteousness, uprightness, and virtue. Then 50 “virtue words,” such as “honesty, patience, honor, kindness, sincerity, courage, generosity, mercy, wisdom, humility,” etc lack frequency (data from Google) found in both studies, decline in the use of these selected words. In the first study, words related to care and concern for others declined the most. It reached a peak by 1904 and had their lowest point after 1980. Overall the decline of the words studied included: honesty, patience, honor, truthfulness, kindness, sincerity, courage, generosity, mercy, wisdom, humility, faithfulness, charity, humbleness, bravery, thoughtfulness, grace, helpfulness, courtesy, love, perseverance, modesty, politeness, fidelity, justice, gratitude, diligence, thankfulness, gentleness, sacrifice, benevolence, fortitude, purity, temperance, faith, hospitality, and appreciation. The few words increased were: compassion, integrity, fairness, tolerance, selflessness, discipline, dependability, reliability.
    Considering these words is a way to highlight a culture’s consciousness. It means we’re in an immoral spiral down. “People simply do not think/talk/write about morality and virtue as much anymore,…” the Kesebirs write. Young people have not been socialized into a shared moral framework, and they simply lack the vocabulary for it.”

  5. Run for President, Ms. Fisher!!! She is much like the teachers I had in elementary school and high school – fantastic!

    Watching what my son is given as classwork in the last couple of years, it’s DISMAL compared to the work we had in the 60’s and 70’s.

    ‘CRINGE’ is a great word…!! That is what I do, too.

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