TUCSON, Ariz. – Teacher Brad McQueen guessed he was taking a major career risk when he began speaking out against the Common Core experiment earlier this year.
A batch of emails from high-ranking Arizona Department of Education officials – obtained through a “freedom of information” request – shows McQueen guessed right.
McQueen entered the Common Core debate in February with an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Independent. The op-ed was especially noteworthy because McQueen is a public school teacher who had spent several years working with Arizona education officials to refine the state’s standardized test for K-12 students.
Notice the past tense – “had.”
When Arizona Department of Education officials discovered that McQueen criticized the one-size-fits-all learning standards as bad for students, they sought immediate retribution. One bureaucrat sent an email stating that a “note” had been placed in McQueen’s “record,” effectively ending the educator’s working relationship with the state.
And when the bureaucrats learned that McQueen was blasting Common Core in a radio interview, program project specialist Angela Escobar sent a very to-the-point email to colleagues, calling him “a f*cktard.”
The bureaucrats’ email also reveals they were scheming to get a pro-Common Core teacher to write an op-ed countering McQueen’s.
As punitive and offensive as the bureaucrats’ behavior toward McQueen was – which, it’s worth pointing out, occurred during work hours and at the taxpayers’ expense – they were just getting warmed up.
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In a new op-ed, McQueen writes that he was most rattled when Arizona Director of Innovative Assessments Sarah Gardner called him on his classroom phone – a highly unorthodox move that was clearly meant to intimidate the educator.
“Sarah Gardner started to grill be about my ‘problems’ with the Common Core and proceeded to ask me if I was implementing the standards in my instruction. I felt like a trap was being set in an attempt to get me terminated from my teaching position. I eventually ended the call as my class was entering the room returning from recess. Needless to say, I was quite shaken.”
McQueen believes his run-in with “jack-booted bureaucrats” illustrates what happens when someone runs afoul of the pro-Common Core Education Establishment – and why so few teachers dare speak out against the K-12 experiment:
“My experience shows the world of Common Core in action. A world run by out-of-control bureaucrats who feel it is perfectly okay to hunt down anyone who expresses anti-Common Core views and attempt to discredit them. … Perhaps if they spent that time and effort analyzing the damage that Common Core is causing to our children they would rethink their complicity in its implementation. That’s between them and their consciences, where they exist.”