Teacher Writes Letter Using Pearson Vocabulary

Dear Governor Cuomo …. a note from the students who did not opt out of the NYS ELA tests last week.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A teacher wrote this little essay and dedicated it to Governor Andrew Cuomo:

“There is a man in Albany, who I surmise, by his clamorous paroxysms, has an extreme aversion to educators. He sees teachers as curs, or likens them to mangy dogs. Methinks he suffers from a rare form of psychopathology in which he absconds with our dignity by enacting laws counterintuitive to the orthodoxy of educational leadership. We have given him sufferance for far too long. He’s currently taking a circuitous path to DC, but he will no doubt soon find himself in litigious waters. The time has come to bowdlerize his posits, send him many furlongs away, and maroon him there, maybe Cuba?

She added:

I’m not supposed to say this, but all these insanely hard words appeared on the 4,6, and 8th grade tests last week.

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15 thoughts on “Teacher Writes Letter Using Pearson Vocabulary

  1. Wow ! I don’t even know these words myself , as a parent of a 6 th grader and a 10 th grader I am appalled at what your expecting these kids to know and understand .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In Florida, Miami/Dade and Palm Beach County are opting out! JOIN THEM NOW!
    Parents, teachers and concerned citizens have been joined by leadership from Miami/Dade and Palm Beach County School Districts. Enough is enough! Join them now by telling YOUR school board members their duty is to the children and their constituents. They must stand our children and our future NOW.

    Tell them we need COMMON SENSE, NOT COMMON CORE!
    State and Federal bullies have run our education system into the ground over the last 20 years bringing us to 47th in the United States in FL.

    Since the advent of Common Core, we have endured as they insisted with no evidence, that extra proprietary state tests should be given to children in addition to the tests teachers have given to evaluate their students though teachers are certified and schools are accredited. Legislators are not. We need to tell them we trust our teachers more than our legislators.

    We have endured while elementary children were denied recess in spite the cries of child development experts.

    We have endured while our children were denied enriching electives just to spend more time preparing for tests.

    We have endured while students have been punished severely and held back for the results of a single test while their classwork was ignored. Testing companies will tell you no one should be punished on the results of a single test.

    We have endured while teachers’ pay was tied to student test results and the state, rather than the district, usurping a large say in pay and retention. This produced conflicting priorities and “teaching to the test.”

    We have paid enormous sums (billions) to corporate cronies drooling over the $1.3 Trillion education market without required financial review or notice to taxpayers.

    Our schools are forced into computerized testing without a single reason or report justifying the need to test on computers rather than pencil and paper. This enables testing companies to enrich themselves by not only the testing, but selling and using the data they are “mining” on our children.

    Children have endured being tested on computer in spite of the lack of training on keyboarding skills. Special needs and physically ill students are inappropriately forced to test on computers as well.

    Children have been denied as much as 40% of their time to learn just to prepare for and take tests that do not inform them on their individual learning progress.

    Children have been demoralized and demotivated by invalid and obtuse tests which take endless hours. Questions are hidden from teachers and parents and lessons kept secret.
    Children have been barraged with improper, erroneous, age inappropriate and depraved materials frustrating and depressing them. Anti-Americanism is rife in the history books.

    Children were sworn to secrecy and had to illegally sign contracts, then told they would be monitored on their social media and could not even discuss questions with their parents.

    Their rights and ours have been violated and now the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has issued threats to the states that they should crack down on those who opt out.

    We must REJECT this tyrant and his Unconstitutional intervention in education. We must REJECT the tyrants in Tallahassee who are illegally enforcing unconstitutional “laws.”

    Our school districts are our first line of defense. They must stand for us NOW and against state and federal interference in educating our children, which is now, and always has been the responsibility and the RIGHT of the parents.

    Tell our school board members NOW we chose them to be our champions with our most precious children, to unleash their individual potential, not prepare them to be replaceable cogs in a corporate wheel!


    • Well written comment that encapsulates all of the reasons that we need to reject these tests. I did not insist that my children minimally participate but have given them this information so that they could make their own decisions. They both, 5th and 8th grade, chose to opt out, realizing that their educators’ and parents’ pleas have fallen on deaf ears and they would have to stand up for themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Poetic Justice: A poetry teacher defending public school students - Southwest Florida Citizens' Alliance

  4. Pingback: Poetic Justice: A poetry teacher defending public school students - Florida Citizens' Alliance

  5. I consider myself a well educated woman and I don’t know what any of these words mean! How the hell are they testing these kids that use words that I doubt hardly exist anymore and I don’t see the relevance in testing them for words that are well past their time.
    Honestly, how any times in an average persons life would “litigious” be a part of their sentence whether in spoken form or written text. I just don’t see them saying or writing it more than once or twice. Get real! Testing is just an excuse to create failure instead of success.


  6. Pingback: Letter to Governor Cuomo using “Pearson” lingo! | tmgrocki's blog

  7. All words heard in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and old Classic books.

    Problem is that our students aren’t reading the Tom Sawyers, Huckleberry Fins, Little House on the Prairie, Swiss Family Robinson classics any longer; they are reading books about two mommies and girls who live in a boys body….

    Problem is that our students are being taught to take a test rather than to have an education.

    Problem is that these tests are designed to show students are failing so that the experienced teachers who are wise enough and experienced enough to know what is happening are forced out of the system to be replaced by younger, government propagandized “one world”, “global workforce”, “no Nationalism” teachers can come in and train up our children in the way the governments want them to be trained…..

    Problem is that these kids are not being taught what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights protected them from – they are being taught that “if you had to give up one freedom, which one would you give up?

    People, you better wake up to what is going on….even if YOUR kids are all grown up.


    • I have a bright, inquisitive,seven year old grandson who reads a variety of books every day. He would know some, but definitely not all, of these words. I have been a reader all my life and don’t come across words like “bowdlerize” – and have no idea how long a furlong is. Expecting an eight year old to know the meaning of orthodoxy or circuitous is ridiculous, no matter how much they read.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Exactly what GenLass just said. These words should not be “hard” to understand. What is wrong with your children is that they have been dumbed down. Take issue with the fact that they do not know these words, take issue with the fact that YOU do not know these words.

    Instead of expressing outrage that such “hard” words should be taught to your children, express outrage that your children didn’t already know them. Children a century and more ago knew them, why can’t your children learn them? There is nothing wrong with that idea.


    • You’re right, Rhonda, in the respect that these words should not be hard to understand. The problem is that such words are not seen in the curriculum today. Teaching classic novels, which is where some of these words are found, is not taught anymore, certainly not at the elementary level. Our curriculum is based pretty much on non-fiction, research based writing in which students have to do something known as a “close read” which entails taking a paragraph out of a larger piece of writing and analyzing it to death to the point where the students are bored to tears. Reading for pleasure is not present in many schools. Then, on 3 specific days out of the year, these children are given passages with the words mentioned above and they are at a complete loss and utterly frustrated.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rhonda,
      The problem I have is not with your logic, but whether you understand that these words were on lower grade tests. The classics that have been listed, with the exception of the Little House series, are books at a late middle to high school level. Of course we should not dumb down the curriculum and of course we should expect kids to know and use some or most of these words. However, we cannot expect children to learn what they are not developmentally ready for. An eight year old child cannot be expected to decider these words and asking them to do so is a road to frustration and risks the possibility of losing the joy in reading. One step at a time. That is how we all learn best.


  9. When I was in high school, in the 1980’s, I wrote using words like that and my teacher took points off, told me I was using “archaic” language and my writing sounded “overblown and pompous”. I disagreed, saying that if the words were good enough for Noah Webster they were good enough for me. However, there is a plethora of other, more commonly used, words that children need to understand first.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have to say that I agree with the teacher who said that these are archaic words. Yes, we could teach our students how to use these words, but why teach them something that is not relevant to their lives? I choose vocabulary that is relevant and useful to what we study, read, or do in real life. Learning “hard” words just to impress or pass a test is a waste of brainpower and instructional time.

    Liked by 1 person

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