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.”