July 22, 2010
AFT Media Affairs
AFT President Weingarten on Fordham Institute Report:
The State of State Standards—and the Common Core—in 2010
More than 40 AFT teachers participated in the drafting process of the Common Core State Standards to ensure they were of high quality and understandable to students and parents.
WASHINGTON—The Common Core State Standards can guide states in their efforts to provide all students with the education they need to succeed in college, work and life. But these standards are just a first step, the foundation for a comprehensive, standards-based system.
In this tough economy, there is a real risk that these standards will never move off the paper and into the classroom, even in states where they have been adopted. The “race to adopt” Common Core standards in order to qualify for federal Race to the Top funds could backfire if states do not have resources to put the standards into effect.
The ravages of the recession are cutting the muscle out of efforts to implement standards. These standards should form the basis for teaching and learning. If states adopt the new standards and don’t implement them, teachers won’t know how to help students meet them. Yet they will be the basis on which students are assessed, and in some cases, the basis for how teachers are compensated and how personnel decisions are made.
The Common Core standards have powerful potential to spur widespread improvement in student achievement. The AFT is committed to ensuring that teachers have the time, tools and resources to help students meet the standards and to maximize the potential of this tool.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.