Under The Radar - Don't Test Me Now


By Francis White 

So I was at a local grocery store buying some items for my granddaughter’s birthday celebration, and I ran into an old compadre of mine. He’s been working as a teacher in Buffalo for the last 12 years.

He says “Frank, how are you doing my old friend?” I say “very well, and, you?” “Generally well, but I’ll be honest Frank” he says. He sticks his head out and looks on either side of my head behind me, as to see that there was no one behind me, and then turns around for a look behind his back to see if the coast was clear. He steps closer and whispers in a quiet, fearful voice – “Common Core is here.” I said “Common Core? What is that a character in a sci-fi thriller or something?” “Shhhhhhsh” he fearfully whispers. “It’ll hear you.”

By now his voice has become that of a professional scary movie narrator. “Common Core is the creature that has been summoned by Pearson. It takes the form of a State standardized test and terrorizes school children. It feeds off the dumbing down of children. It has also taken possession of some key educational figures in the state and through them, has waged war on the community. It has demanded that teachers spend huge amounts of classroom time teaching the children how to feed themselves into the machine. Even more gruesome, it absorbs of the kids creative spirit, rather than empower their critical thinking skills.”

“All the parents and teachers I know, who know what’s really going on are more terrified for their families than they have in their entire lives. This creature has successfully expanded its campaign of terror into other school districts; city, suburban, and rural – so the cries of excruciating horror have been getting louder and louder.”

“Frank, we have to do something!!!! (His voice getting back to whisper mode from scary movie announcer mode) Frank you always said that the educational system is out of control, but I never really paid it too much mind until now. I never thought it would be like this.”


“How does the monster operate how can we kill it? Do we need holy water, a stake through the heart, or silver bullets or something?” I said. He said “no, the only way to slow it down at this time is to have our families opt out of the tests.” Students and parents across New York State are taking action, and as many of us as possible must invoke the words of the great street sage Lennox “Don’t test me now!!!! Who wanna test me now?”