Union leaders go cold on Common Core

Teachers’ union leaders have turned against Common Core standards, writes Tim Daly on the TNTP Blog.

National Education Association (NEA) president Dennis Van Roekel is demanding “course corrections” to keep NEA backing. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, also is criticizing Common Core implementation.

Whatever unions leaders say, this is not about “botched” implementation or the standards themselves, argues Daly.

“The unions routinely complain that states are moving too fast in transitioning to the new standards, but the truth is that educators have already had years to prepare. In New York, for instance, the standards were adopted in 2010—four years ago. . . If four years is not sufficient, how long is? Eight years?

“Politics and job protection” are the real issues, Daly writes.

Unions hoped that the occasion of Common Core (and their support for it) might present an opportunity to roll back or dilute teachers’ accountability for results. (Never mind that, even when students begin to be measured against tougher, Common Core-aligned tests, there’s little evidence to suggest a drop in scores will put teachers at any real risk.)

As it has become clearer that no such accountability holiday is forthcoming—and that educators, in addition to schools, will be on the hook for advancing students toward the standards—the union withdrawal has been a foregone conclusion.

“Unions were already fighting accountability measures associated with Common Core at the state and district level,”  he writes. Now the strained alliance with the Obama administration is over. “The unions are now taking aim at the administration’s central education policies.”

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  1. Would we be any worse off firing the lot of them (or a random sample, at least a decimation), and replacing them with the excess Ed degree holders who aren’t working as teachers, and busting the public sector education unions?

    It’s not obvious that we would.

    And that should make the NEA terrified.

  2. PhillipMarlowe says:

    Tim Daly.
    One nice thing about Tim is his loyalty.
    One not so nice thing about Tim is his dishonesty.
    3 years ago, Tim was reaching trying to prove Michelle Rhee didn’t lie about her three years of teaching where she manufactured her “Baltimore Miracle.”
    A report surfaced with test data from Harlem Park ES in Baltimore and Miss Rhee’s story crumbled. (At the same time, data surfaced showing over 100 schools in DCPS were flagged for excessive erasures. Noyes ES had nearly 10 classes. Michelle Rhee’s response: praise Noyes and hoist the principal, William Ryan, on a pedestal as a shining beacon for the test God.)
    To acknowledge that Miss Rhee was less than truthful, and to admit his part in promulgating the sham was too much for Tim. So he doubled down trying to cast doubt on the data or to find Ronald Reagan’s pony in the pile of manure.

    And thus we find Tim trying to pretend he has some insight on this issue.

    • Is any of that true?

    • I guess not.

      • PhillipMarlowe says:

        Pimping the test scores;
        When standardized test scores soared in D.C., were the gains real?

        By Jack Gillum and Marisol Bello, USA TODAY

        Updated 3/30/2011 12:17:10 AM |
        Reprints & Permissions
        WASHINGTON — In just two years, Crosby S. Noyes Education Campus went from a school deemed in need of improvement to a place that the District of Columbia Public Schools called one of its “shining stars.”

        Standardized test scores improved dramatically. In 2006, only 10% of Noyes’ students scored “proficient” or “advanced” in math on the standardized tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Two years later, 58% achieved that level. The school showed similar gains in reading.

        Because of the remarkable turnaround, the U.S. Department of Education named the school in northeast Washington a National Blue Ribbon School. Noyes was one of 264 public schools nationwide given that award in 2009.

        Michelle Rhee, then chancellor of D.C. schools, took a special interest in Noyes. She touted the school, which now serves preschoolers through eighth-graders, as an example of how the sweeping changes she championed could transform even the lowest-performing Washington schools. Twice in three years, she rewarded Noyes’ staff for boosting scores: In 2008 and again in 2010, each teacher won an $8,000 bonus, and the principal won $10,000.

        A closer look at Noyes, however, raises questions about its test scores from 2006 to 2010. Its proficiency rates rose at a much faster rate than the average for D.C. schools. Then, in 2010, when scores dipped for most of the district’s elementary schools, Noyes’ proficiency rates fell further than average.