Seven Hills Going Down Hill

Talking with parents at the TechTest2014 Survivors this morning I learned that Mr. Sharp the Seven Hills Middle School math teacher is retiring and he will not be replaced by a full time math teacher.  Apparently, with the adoption of Common Core the Seven Hills Administration has decided there are not enough Common Core math hours to justify a full time math teacher. He will be replaced with a multi-credentialed teacher. Or, looking at the reality of the situation a part time math teacher.

Mr. Sharp was often criticized for pushing math too hard by his fellow teachers.  The results often showed up in TechTestJr merit scholarship exams sponsored by the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation. When the results were in, the most TechTestJr top performers were most often from Seven Hills, besting all the other Middle Schools in the County. 

The decline of math rigor in Common Core will result in students less prepared for an advance math courses.  The first year that SESF gave the TechTestJr exam Mr Sharp showed me a letter he got from a TestTest2011 winner, telling him that his success was the result of the math skills he learned in Mr. Sharp’s math classes.  

That letter was huge endorsement of Mr. Sharp’s skills as a math teacher. Now, he is being placed by part timer in Common Core, which does not have a rigorous  math curriculum.  I predict that Seven Hills TechTestJr results will be sliding down hill real soon now!  Your thoughts?      

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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1 Response to Seven Hills Going Down Hill

  1. commoncoreconcernsnc says:

    Here is a quote from Accuracy in Academia ( on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) which I just found and think it explains why we will be losing more and more high performing teachers.

    “Specifically, NCLB requires states to eliminate the learning gaps based on ethnicity, race and economic circumstances by 2014…. If the achievement of average and advanced students improves, that makes closing the learning gaps more difficult. For that reason NCLB is a disincentive for schools to raise the achievement of all students….

    Secondly, NCLB requires that schools raise all students to proficiency levels in reading and mathematics by 2014…, Since all students must be “proficient,” schools understandably are inclined to define “proficiency” at a low level. At the same time, resources that should be focused on all students will be directed to the lowest achievers instead.”

    In my opinion, if we have teachers producing high achieving students in any subject we can expect to see these teachers (a) leaving the education field; (b) not being re-hired; or (c) told to stop their current level of high quality teaching i.e. dumb it down.


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