Press Release

AFT President Weingarten on DC Common Core Moratorium

For Release: 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Contact:

Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424
kchilds@aft.org

 WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the District of Columbia Public Schools' moratorium on high-stakes testing on the Common Core standards.

"While the Common Core standards hold great promise and potential, the transition to them in many places has been rocky at best and has engendered great distrust by those closest to children—their parents and teachers. I'm glad to see that just last week the Gates Foundation, and now today Washington, D.C.'s school district, have joined many others in recognizing that the transition to these standards, even if done well, is hard work. If we are serious about making them work for every child, then we need to give teachers the time, support and flexibility to meet the individual needs of children—and that means focusing on learning first, not testing or rushing to impose high-stakes consequences.

"Last year, when we saw what was transpiring in classrooms with the Common Core, we proposed a moratorium on the consequences of high-stakes testing to give teachers, parents and kids the support, time and flexibility to make the transition to the Common Core work. If this had been embraced last year, there would have been a lot less anxiety and distrust in communities and in places like Washington, D.C., and New York state."

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The AFT represents 1.6 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.