New Core Standards Provide Building Blocks for Reform

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The newly released Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics are essential building blocks for a better education system, AFT president Randi Weingarten says.

The final standards, which should affect teaching and learning in classrooms across the country as many states adopt them, were released June 2. Weingarten was among the education and political leaders who spoke at an event in Georgia to mark the release of the standards.

"The standard can help prepare all children, regardless of where they live, for success in college, careers and life," she says. "Those who wrote the standards understood this, and met repeatedly with front-line educators, including AFT members from across the country, who helped turn these concepts into a reality that can make a difference in children's lives.

"Establishing these standards is a critical first step, and now the real work begins. We need to use these standards as the foundation for better schools, but we must do more—as the countries we compete with do. With common standards as the foundation, these countries provide kids a robust curriculum taught by well-prepared, well-supported teachers. Implementing these standards will require 360-degree accountability—with parents, elected officials, community leaders, teachers and students all sharing the responsibility for student success."

More information about the standards is available online.

June 3, 2010