Common Core

By Lyndsey Layton
Thursday, February 20, 2014

The head of the nation’s largest teachers union said the rollout of the new Common Core academic standards has been “completely botched” in many states and that wholesale changes taking place in U.S. classrooms need an immediate “course correction.”

ennis Van Roekel, president of 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.

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