Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president says that the Common Core rollout is botched in many states, according to an article published in the Washington Post. The head of the nation’s largest teachers union, The National Education Association, had been a steadfast supporter of the new K-12 academic standards that have been fully adopted by 45 states and the District since 2010.
But Van Roekel said Wednesday that after talking to about 10,000 teachers in listening sessions and focus groups over several months, he is convinced that implementation of the new standards in most of the country is chaotic.
“My greatest fear for the students of America is that we may lose the promise of the Common Core standards because we screwed up the implementation,” Van Roekel said.
Supporters of the Common Core say the standards emphasize critical thinking and analytical skills, as opposed to rote learning, and will enable U.S. students to better compete in the global marketplace. Education Department officials, in publicly supporting the Common Core, have said the standards are pushing communities and states to make long-needed improvements to their schools.
Nevertheless, dissatisfaction among the teaching ranks with the way the Common Core is being handled has built from a rumble to a roar, Van Roekel said. Seven out of 10 teachers the union surveyed said the switch to the Common Core was going poorly in their school districts, Van Roekel said.
In too many states, educators have not been given the training, time and classroom materials to properly make the shifts necessary to teach to the new standards, Van Roekel said. New curricula are being developed on the fly, and teachers lack textbooks and materials that align with the standards, he said. Most teachers say they have been shut out of the implementation process, Van Roekel said.
“It took us six years to develop the standards,” he said. “To think you can just roll it out, you can just do this without time, resources or support is crazy.”
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