Press Release

Bill Gates Joins AFT’s Call for High-Stakes Pause on Common Core Tests

For Release: 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the Gates Foundation's call delaying use of Common Core State Standards tests as a basis for student promotion or teacher evaluations for two years. On April 30, 2013, Weingarten called for a midcourse correction and a moratorium on the high-stakes consequences of Common Core tests.

"The Gates Foundation's call for a delay of the high-stakes consequences attached to the Common Core State Standards tests responds to the very real frustration of parents and educators over a badly mismanaged implementation of the standards—ignoring the real needs of kids, failing to provide the supports for teaching to the standards, and fixating on testing instead of teaching. If we're serious about transitioning to high standards and teaching critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, we have to de-link the high-stakes consequences of the tests from the standards' implementation for now.

"The Common Core standards are too important not to get them right. If states and school districts focus on a quality rollout rather than a rush to test, we can make sure students get a deeper, richer curriculum that will prepare them well. Tests should be used to improve teaching and learning, not to sanction and punish."

# # # #

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.