Press Release

AFT Statement Responding to PDK/Gallup Poll that Shows More Americans Skeptical of High-Stakes Testing and Common Core

For Release: 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Michael Heenan
202/585-4371; Cell:202/577-3941

WASHINGTON— Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the 2014 PDK/Gallup Poll:

"We have supported the Common Core standards because of their potential to help kids, whether from Bed-Stuy or Beverly Hills, to think critically, solve problems and work with others—skills needed to be successful in today's economy.

"But these standards must be guides, not straightjackets, and they must be decoupled from testing. Parents, students and teachers have to be given the time, curriculum, resources and support to make the transition work.

"But rather than a well-resourced, thoughtful implementation, with adjustments made when parents, teachers and kids have raised concerns, policymakers ignored the problems, opting instead to test, test, test.

"When we raised red flags starting almost two years ago, the reaction was to dismiss us as well.

"Sadly, we said it, we screamed it and now this poll shows it.

"Given this path, support will continue to drop as people no longer see standards or standardized tests as helping children. They, like many teachers, see them instead as setting up public education for failure."

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The AFT represents 1.7 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.