From Angie Sullivan, a teacher in Nevada:

 

I’m a union girl.  But I know that my union is huge and has become part of the privatizing problem – looking for money from big business and supporting politicians who take it too. 
 
So I lobby them too.  
 
Common Core is not supported by this member.  
 

With everything going on in my state of Nevada – NEA spends money and gives us a grant to implement common core standards? 

 
NEA likes to say that our “members” support common core.  Really?  In Nevada only half our teachers vote in elections but somehow NEA was able to poll us and determined we support common core?  That is a lie. 
 
The representative assembly considered this and while common core passed – this was NOT an issue for many states YET.   Most representatives sat out and did not vote for or against – I was watching.  States like California voted heavily NO.  This was not an overwhelming mandate from the body to support. A third of the room stood against.  Those of us oppressed by the system that no one paid us any money to implement said no.  I had no voice at any level about common core.  This was not democratically implemented. 
 
Common core was developed by big business.  They want all states to have the same standards – not to improve education – but to improve profit for themselves. Bill Gates will sell national software.  Pearson will dominate our market with national programs and textbooks.  The companies will no longer have to tailor Nevada products to Nevada.  This is a national standard to create a national unified market so that corporations can make money. 
 
And testing.  Common core is great for test makers correct?  We have a computer … so we must create systems to collect and compare data about our kids on a national level?  
 
No one asked me what it is like filling out a report card with 128 standards.  
 
No one considered developmental appropriateness for five year olds when creating the standards.  
 
No one considered the diversity that is in my classroom when developing the standards.  
 
No one asked me.  
 
So don’t imply that I support such a system because I see it for what it is.  It is no good for my students in poverty in urban Nevada. It doesn’t support language learners. It raises the bar?  Not really.  It does imply that every student in America fits into a cookie cutter. 
 
I believe my union is selling out students and teachers on this issue instead of doing what is right.   Authentic learning is more than a score. 
 
We will regret this – just as we regret No Child Left Behind – which my union implied I supported too.  It will oppress us.  It will encourage more tests and scores and failures.  It will measure teachers and compare us until we fail too.  This will promote an elite agenda … doing very little and most likely harm the kids I serve and love. 
 
No money or support – just churn- and failing kids left in the wake?
Unfunded mandates sold to us by big money and implemented without teacher voice or additional pay – sound familiar?
We have seen this before and the big question is … who is making money because we will be hard pressed to say it helped Vegas kids.
O God hear the words of my mouth, let my union be advocates and not waste our spare resources in directions that do not help our children.
Angie.