June 3, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Common Core Standards
The final version of the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, which many states are expected to adopt, was released this week in Suwanee, Ga.
WASHINGTON—These standards should affect teaching and learning in classrooms across the country. They are essential building blocks for a better education system—not a new educational fad—and they can help prepare all children, regardless of where they live, for success in college, careers and life.
Those who wrote the standards understood this, and met repeatedly with front-line educators, including AFT members from across the country, who helped turn these concepts into a reality that can make a difference in children’s lives.
Establishing these standards is a critical first step, and now the real work begins. We need to use these standards as the foundation for better schools, but we must do more—as the countries we compete with do. With common standards as the foundation, these countries provide kids a robust curriculum taught by well-prepared, well-supported teachers. Implementing these standards will require 360-degree accountability—with parents, elected officials, community leaders, teachers and students all sharing the responsibility for student success.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.