It is hardly shocking that Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, would pen a piece about an education poll that she likes and conveniently pretend that the other poll, the one with some inconvenient truths about Common Core, simply doesn’t exist.
What is appalling is that she would rest her argument on a hyperbolic reference to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—comparing the struggle some teachers are experiencing as they adapt to a new status quo to the horrors soldiers experience during wartime.
We can’t tolerate these kind of analogies, even in the polarizing education debates around contentious issues such as Common Core.
Weingarten quotes a teacher who says:
We lost four great veteran teachers this last month due to all the pressure at school.
I truly feel for two years I had Common Core Syndrome. Do you know that many [other teachers] have mental health issues, high blood pressure and other health issues from all of this? Two years ago, I was told it was like PTSD.
We’ve reached a new low if people are comparing being a teacher in America in 2015 with suffering from PTSD. This trivializes the trauma of countless American servicemembers who are haunted by their war experiences or the children who’ve survived unspeakable abuse and trauma.
The Department of Defense would not have adopted the Common Core standards to be taught in its classrooms if it were a PTSD-inducing initiative. Military families, whose children transfer often to new schools in new states, would not not be overwhelmingly in favor of the continuity that these math and English language arts standards provide in their children’s education if it were a PTSD-inducing initiative.
Randi Weingarten can think what she wants and she can even ignore the truth to further her agenda. But it seems that she should avoid the plucking of quotations that grossly misrepresent the true conditions in our schools and in our classrooms.
Violence and terror like what occurred in Columbine and at Sandy Hook belong in the same sentence as PTSD. Common Core, annual testing and teacher evaluation do not.