As the nation looks to seize the opportunity presented by the Common Core State Standards, we must remember that our students’ futures are at stake. Most of all, we must demand that educators receive the training, support and resources they need to provide every public school student with the high-quality education they deserve.
Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, says the Common Core State Standards have the potential to boost engagement, creativity and bring joy back to teaching. He writes that his organization has established the Common Core Working Group to develop resources for teachers. “Most of all, we must demand that educators receive the training, support and resources they need to provide every public school student with the high-quality education they deserve,” he writes.
When kids first learn to cross the street, we tell them to stop, look both ways and assess the traffic before they proceed. Similarly, when it comes to decisions affecting the education of millions of our nation’s public school students, we should exercise the same common sense.
Students across the nation are counting on us to help them learn and reach their dreams by getting the transition to Common Core State Standards right. To do that, teachers, parents, administrators and communities must come together and develop sound implementation plans, put those plans into place, and evaluate how well they work for students.
The conversation right now should not be about the consequences of a score, but about teaching and learning. Let’s give students and educators the time and tools they need to succeed.
NEA remains committed to ensuring attention is given to what lies between the standards and student learning assessments: curriculum, instruction and supports for learning. We know that the new standards, as strong as they are, will not bring us any closer to improved achievement or quality education if those middle factors are not addressed.
For years, NEA has worked to ensure that every child — regardless of zip code or parents’ income — has the chance to reach for the American dream. That is why NEA was fully engaged in the development of the Common Core State Standards, with accomplished educators examining the details and offering substantive improvements.
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