Putting Education Reform To The Test

Teacher’s Union President Wants New Direction For Common Standards

National Education Association president Dennis Van Roekel.

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Dem / Flickr

National Education Association president Dennis Van Roekel.

The head of the nation’s largest teacher’s union says school districts are botching the implementation of shared math and language arts standards known as Common Core.

National Education Association president Dennis Van Roekel said he still supports the standards in an open letter posted on the union’s website,

Education Week has more:

“Seven of ten teachers believe that implementation of the standards is going poorly in their schools. Worse yet, teachers report that there has been little to no attempt to allow educators to share what’s needed to get CCSS implementation right. In fact, two-thirds of all teachers report that they have not even been asked how to implement these new standards in their classrooms,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel writes in the Feb. 19 letter. “Consequently, NEA members have a right to feel frustrated, upset, and angry about the poor commitment to implementing the standards correctly.”

In all, the letter is more evidence of a phenomenon my colleague Andrew Ujifusa of State EdWatch fame and I wrote about in this week’s edition of Education Week: Unions are in tricky situation on the common core. They’ve been among its greatest champions, and are now faced with rank-and-file members’ gripes as it’s implemented, especially in New York.

The NEA won’t oppose the standards, Van Roekel writes in the letter. “[S]cuttling these standards will simply return us to the failed days of No Child Left Behind, where rote memorization and bubble tests drove teaching and learning,” he says.

Florida is one of 45 states which have fully adopted the standards. Common Core outlines what students should know at the end of each grade. The standards are expected to be more difficult in order to better prepare students for college or a job.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »