The Core of the problem is the tests

Earlier this week (October 14th, 2014) the Ohio house Rules Committee held its 7th hearing on HB597 - commonly referred to has the "Common Core Repeal bill", but in actuality is replete with all manner of extreme pieces of legislation only tangentially related to educating students. This hearing was committed to hearing from opponents of common core, including teachers. Here's how Gongwer reported their testimony

Teacher Tracy Yereb said one of her kindergarten students, Julia, had to sit beside the trash can daily because she vomited from stress. Her student Daniel came from a home where both parents were addicted to drugs and in and out of jail.

"Yet we asked Daniel to give his best performance on a 52-minute test to have documentation that he mastered the Common Core standards," she said in testimony. "Really? All Daniel could think about was wanting to have food and to live in a safe environment.

Another teacher testified

Vicki Brusky, a first-year teacher from Lorain County, said she has opted her son, who has Asperger's syndrome, out of taking the state tests because of the anxiety they cause.

In working with IEP students, she said she administered the third-grade reading test to two students who were granted extended time. She spent the day - 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. - administering the test to them and while one gave up, the other spent the end of the day rushing to fill in bubbles, she said.

And a third teacher

Steve Parlin, an English teacher from Marietta, said he thinks students are becoming more dependent and less self-directed.

"They are taking fewer risks, and instead hold out for the correct answer to be given to them, for that is all that matters," he said. "Indeed, the test-driven mania that dominates our school culture communicates one clear message above all others: The only thinking and learning that matters is that which can be measured. The only learning that matters is what will be tested."

What is striking about this so-called "anti-common core" testimony is how little of it is opposed to the standards, but rather the explosion of testing that is taking place in our schools. It should be obvious to all by now that the corporate reformers have created an over-testing crisis in our schools. In their desire to "hold teachers accountable" what they have instead achieved is holding back student learning so they can take test, after test, after test. It's time that madness ended, and the corporate reformers were sent back to their billionaire backed board rooms to leave the real business of education our children to the experts.