NEA Blasts Implementation of "Common Core" Standards

By:  Jack Kenny
02/20/2014
       
NEA Blasts Implementation of "Common Core" Standards

The National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union and ardent supporter of the Common Core academic standards, has now called the nationwide implementation of the standards "completely botched."

What is needed is  a major "course correction" that may require a revision of some of the standards, along with teacher input into implementation of the standards and accompanying tests, NEA president Dennis Van Roekel (shown in photo) wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to the union's more than three million members, Politico reported.

The often controversial standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. New lessons and the exams introduced in the classrooms this year have sparked widespread protests, and at least one state, Indiana, is reported to be on the verge of pulling out of the program. Several other states are expected to have heated debates this spring over the standards, including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia, Politco said. In his letter to the members, also published on the NEA website, Van Roekel charged that in some states the manner in which the Common Core State Standards have been put in place has amounted to "malpractice." He noted that the "completely botched" verdict would come as no surprise to the teachers.

Seven of ten teachers believe that implementation of the standards is going poorly in their schools.... Worse yet, teachers report that there has been little to no attempt to allow educators to share what's needed to get CCSS implementation right. In fact, two thirds of all teachers report that they have not even been asked how to implement these new standards in their classrooms.

Imagine that: The very people expected to deliver universal access to high quality standards with high quality instruction have not had the opportunity to share their expertise and advice about how to make CCSS implementation work for all students, educators, and parents.

Consequently, NEA members have a right to feel frustrated, upset, and angry about the poor commitment to implementing the standards correctly.

Writing in the NEA Today, Tim Walker has chronicled some of the areas of major discontent over implementation of the standards, starting with the state of New York, where the 600,000-member New York State United Teachers voted to withdraw its support for Common Core as implemented. "State officials have been put on notice: Implementation must be done with us, not to us," Walker wrote.  "Without a strong educator voice in the process, the Common Core State Standards cannot succeed."

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