The second part of a new documentary produced by the Home School Legal Defense Association focuses on the anxiety and depression experienced by children after their schools began implementing testing tied to the Common Core.
The film, titled "Building the Machine: A Movie About the Common Core," interviews several parents in New York State who say their children are negatively affected by the curriculum.
The children are "blaming themselves and saying there is something defective with them and school is making them feel defective," Mary Calamia, a licensed clinical social worker who works with children and teachers in the New York state school system says in the film.
"They're blaming themselves, they're saying they're at fault. They're calling themselves stupid. ... Thus we get anxiety and depression," she added. She said that around October 2012, after teachers had switched to the Common Core, she began noticing an unusually large number of students going to her with anxiety, depression and self-mutilating behavior.
"The numbers of kids coming in were off the charts, and that's when I first heard about Common Core," she said.
Rachel Gibson, a special education teacher and parent in Westchester County, New York, added that one child carved the word "stupid" into her wrist after receiving her test scores.
Yvonne Gasperino, a parent in Westchester County, New York, could not understand why her children's school was adopting the Common Core, given that it is a private Catholic school.
"This is cognitive child abuse," she said, adding that the curriculum is "developmentally inappropriate."
HSLDA went to New York to speak to parents because New York and Kentucky are the only two states where the Common Core has been fully implemented. However, parents in the other 45 other states may very soon experience full implementation, as schools have have already adopted the Common Core. The primary point made in "Building the Machine" is that Common Core treats children like little machines on an assembly line, rather than unique beings with different gifts and goals.
"We were really happy with the response to the Building the Machine film," said filmmaker Ian Reed.
"Most viewers felt that it was an excellent primer on the standards and their questionable background, but many also expressed that they wanted a more in-depth look at the Common Core and how the standards have impacted parents and children. In response to those requests, we've put together an additional 20-minute documentary featuring parent interviews from the state of New York and six content-specific episodes that explore issues such as international benchmarking, high-stakes testing, datamining and more."
Part one of the documentary, released in April, features education experts, including two professors who were on the Common Core validation committee but refused to approve the standards.
Part three of "Building the Machine" contains other episodes and is available on DVD. DVDs of all three parts are available for purchase at CommonCoreMovie.com.