Common Core: A thirteen year old girl’s perspective

Peconic Pediatrics in Riverhead, NY - Children taking testThere has been a massive grassroots movement against Common Core of late. I am certainly not an expert on the educational system but I have a couple of objective observations that I'd like to share.

First of all, this past week during testing, many kids came to the office with headaches, stomach aches and other stress related symptoms.

Second of all, kids and teachers are enjoying school less. Teachers creativity in lesson planning is being restricted. This was obvious when I went to "meet the teacher night" for my own children this fall. The schedule of the day was completely regimented. It was a very different feel from years past. In fact my son's first grade teacher who my 13 year old daughter said had been her favorite teacher, told me that she has no time to do any of the fun things this year that she had done in years past. In addition, it seems reading selections are also dictated to the teachers. My ten year old is primarily reading non-fiction and is learning to dislike reading.

In the midst of this week of testing, my 13 year old daughter decided to write a letter to the powers that be in hopes of being heard. Here is an excerpt from that letter.

"I am disappointed. Before Common Core, the classroom was a place where I looked forward to going because I enjoyed learning. My teachers would always create fun and exciting ways to pick up lessons. We could play all kinds of games that would end up teaching us a new topic, or reviewing an old one.

With Common Core, teachers don't have the freedom to decide how to teach a lesson and they don't have time to teach it in a fun way. They are strictly teaching it for the endless tests that Common Core makes its students take.

All the work and tests Common Core is forcing us to take is only hurting us. It's making it less likely for us students to enjoy school and learning which in the end could really influence our futures and the career which we end up being a part of."

Again, I do not proclaim to be an expert but I see the effect the shift in curriculum has had on my children and my patients.

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