Friday, October 31, 2014

10 Things You Should Know About the Common Core

October 16, 2013 by twalker  
Filed under Featured News, Top Stories


By Tim Walker

An enormous effort to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is underway in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia. Districts are training staff, field-testing assessments, and evaluating technology requirements. Teachers are rewriting curriculum and instruction to prepare students for more rigorous coursework. Some states are further ahead than others. And as the 2014 – 2015 implementation deadline draws near, it’s likely that the road has been—and will continue to be—a bit rocky. But schools are forging ahead with the initiative—even as it faces opponents who are determined to mislabel the effort as everything from “Obamacore” to a “national curriculum.” The Common Core is a set of voluntary K–12 standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The White House did not create the initiative, nor is it leading it. The standards were developed by governors and state school officials, with input from a wide range of educators, content experts, national organizations (including NEA), and community groups.

The challenges surrounding implementation, however, are formidable. Teachers are concerned about adapting their classrooms to the rigorous new standards and receiving the proper training. Many are also wondering about the role of new assessments. But they also recognize the enormous opportunity that lies ahead.

“Educators desperately want to reclaim the joy in teaching—which means creative lesson plans, meaningful exploration of topics, and inspiring the joy of real learning in our students,” says NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Common Core could help achieve that if the implementation is done correctly.”

To reach that goal, all stakeholders must work together and take a leadership role in educating each other and the general public about the Common Core. It’s a complex subject. The following facts are intended to clarify key points, allay concerns about what the Common Core isn’t, and—most importantly—highlight how the standards can be the game-changer students need.

1. Most NEA Members Support the Common Core

Are many teachers anxious about the Common Core? Absolutely. Are some die-hard critics? No doubt. But there is no massive groundswell of opposition to the Common Core among NEA members. An NEA poll conducted in July by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found that 75 percent of its members—teachers and education support professionals —supported the standards outright or supported “with reservations.” Whether it’s tighter content focus or opportunities for deeper critical thinking, the majority of teachers see the new standards as something to get excited about. Another poll released by the American Federation of Teachers revealed similar levels of enthusiasm, again indicating some educator anxiety, but confirming that AFT member support of the Common Core is strong.

2. “Drill and Kill” Curriculum Could Be History

The standards don’t dictate how teachers should teach. Quite the opposite. Teachers who support the Common Core—like Colorado educator Jessica Keigan—understand that teachers and their schools will determine how to help students meet the standards. “I understand the anxiety that many teachers may have,” Keigan says. “What I remind myself of is that teachers are making the standards work in the classroom. We’re taking the lead.” For Sue Yokum of Pennsylvania, the creativity the standards allow will make her final year of teaching a memorable one. “The Common Core gives me guidance, but it does not tell me what materials to use. That’s up to me,” explains Yokum. “It allows me to do something different this year and next year so that when I go out at 40 years, it’ll be the best year I ever taught.”

3. The Standards are Designed to Help all Students

Students from economically disadvantaged communities are often consigned to larger classes where they face an undemanding curriculum and outdated resources. As a result, too many students graduate without the basic knowledge and skills they need to successfully complete college or enter the workforce. Properly implemented, CCSS will ensure that all students— no matter where they live—will graduate prepared for college, careers, and citizenship. “The standards make things equal for all children in the U.S.,” says Colorado teacher Cheryl Mosier. “We’re not going to have pockets of high-performing students in one area compared to another area. Everybody will have a very high bar to meet, but it’s a bar that can be met—with supports [in place] for all teachers.”

In addition, alternative assessments are being designed to measure the growth of every student population. The World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment, for example, is a collaborative that advances the needs of English language learners. They have ensured that the new standards support and do not replace existing English language proficiency standards. Implementation of the standards should also address the needs of students with disabilities. The current plans for implementation should not in any way diminish access to the range of supports that students might need in order to learn.

4. Shakespeare is Welcome

Critics charge that the standards crowd out high-quality fiction, poetry, theater, and other imaginative texts in favor of nonfiction, “informational texts” believed to be an essential canon in the “college ready” arsenal. The standards explicitly say, however, that Shakespeare and classic American literature should be taught. While the standards do require increasing amounts of nonfiction, this provision refers to reading across all subjects, not just English.

5. Common Core Promotes Cross Curricular Learning

For Arkansas English/language arts teacher Kathy Powers, it’s not about fiction vs. non-fiction reading. It’s about integrating them with other disciplines, like English and social studies, or literacy, math, and science. “The CCSS will change my classroom teaching practice because I’ll infuse more of my instruction of non-fiction texts with fiction so the students get more of a content knowledge background,” Powers explains. “I work with our social studies teachers to bring in more of their content and vice versa.” The CCSS are designed to support cross-curricular learning and social studies, history, science, and PE teachers can and should be part of the effort. Many teachers already plan across subject matter, but the standards present a great opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in different classrooms. This will be a welcome change for many teachers—especially those who are new to the profession—who long to break out of classroom silos.

6. Success Depends on Better, Balanced Assessment and Accountability Systems

The next generation of assessments will provide better and more usable feedback for teachers, students, and parents. Most states that have adopted the CCSS belong to one of two assessment consortia, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) or the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). No one expects the transition to be easy, says Jim Meadows of the Washington Education Association. “It’ll take some time for the system to realign to support student learning tied to the Common Core. The standards are more rigorous but they’re also more focused. So the assessments are going to be different and there are going to be growing pains. When the initial assessment results come out, they may be lower,” explains Meadows.

Teachers overwhelmingly support an implementation schedule that will enable them to get up to speed before these new assessments are used to evaluate performance. NEA has long called for an end to high-stakes testing consequences, particularly during the Common Core transition period. In 2013, NEA, AFT, and 12 national education groups called for a moratorium of at least one year on high-stakes decisions based on new assessments aligned to the new standards. Over the next year, NEA and its affiliates will make it a top priority to work with policymakers across the country to improve the assessment process.

7. Implementation is a Work-in-Progress

Critical investments must be made to ensure educators have the time and resources to collaborate and make adjustments to classroom instruction. This includes more effective and sustained professional development—not just one-stop shop workshops and training videos, but the time and structure to collaborate with colleagues. Additional resources must be allocated to bring schools’ technology up to speed. Sound and effective policies will reinforce the standards, and teachers, education support professionals, and parents must work together to ensure the best possible implementation occurs so students can reap the benefits of that collaboration.

8. Teacher Leadership is Essential

As states begin implementation, teachers are advocating for the things that lead to success: resources, professional development, and time for collaboration. Teacher leaders are essential to the successful implementation of the Common Core. For this reason, President Van Roekel appointed 56 educators to an NEA Common Core Working Group last fall. The move is part of a nationwide effort to prepare educators to implement the standards. The group will ensure that teacher voice is prominent throughout Common Core implementation; facilitate communication about the standards; and assist in the development of engaging and relevant resources.

“This is an opportunity for teachers to discuss what isn’t working,” explains Kathy Powers. “We can use our voices collectively to critique areas of the Common Core that may need a little polishing.”

9. Parents are Key Partners

Parents have always played a huge role in helping students learn, and the success or failure of Common Core implementation depends largely on collaboration between educators and parents. But results of a recent Gallup poll indicate only half of public school parents had even heard of the standards. Parents and community leaders should increase their knowledge of the standards and work together to ensure fair and successful implementation. Educators should reach out to parents and pressure lawmakers to provide the resources and to make implementation easier for teachers and students.

10. Resources for Teachers Abound

A wealth of online tools and resources are available to broaden educators’ knowledge about Common Core content and the new assessments and provide sample lessons and links to individual state resources. NEA has released a Common Core toolkit designed to help educators prepare for implementation. The toolkit provides general background about the CCSS, separates truth from fiction about the standards, and offers hands-on practical assistance to help educators prepare for implementation. Users can download editable materials and presentations in small chunks that may be used in a variety of settings. Video resources suitable for use by individuals and teams are also available.


264 Responses to “10 Things You Should Know About the Common Core”
  1. Rachel Dobbs says:

    I am an educator and parent, and I have yet to hear anyone speak out IN FAVOR of the Common Core. My colleagues are nearly unanimous in their disdain for the scripts, the developmentally inappropriate materials and methods, and the loss of professional autonomy. My child–a Kindergartener–toils through his homework each night. I went to a reading event at my son’s elementary school last night, and when the parents were requested to go into a classroom to hear about reading as a family and how parents can support kids, the frustration expressed with the Common Core and the new curriculum were very obvious even though the teachers presenting were as diplomatic as could be. Many parents who were doing their best to be involved and supportive of their kids complained about the engageny website, the curricular materials, and the stress their kids are under. I’m not sure where all these teachers who support the common core are, because I’ve not met ONE.

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  2. mini says:

    I am an educator. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to defund schools, and put the money into feeding hungry children. Making sure students have enough to eat is the Common Core. The rest is crap.

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  3. Jennifer Fatone says:

    I am terribly disappointed that my union ignores the valid criticisms and concerns of the very teachers it supposedly represents. Common Core, in many areas, is developmentally inappropriate. Students are working at high levels of frustration, which is damaging their ability and desire to learn. CC will not level the playing field; we must address our disgraceful child poverty rate if we truly see that as our goal. Raising the bar for disadvantaged students is just cruel, and will only increase the enormous gaps that exist when it comes to student success and wealth. The new materials available to teachers do not benefit students; they benefit corporations like Pearson in the form of enormous profits. Teachers know how to challenge their students at the appropriate levels because teachers know their students. NEA’s support suggests that we do not have the professional ability to meet our students needs. It is insulting.

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  4. William Goodrich says:

    What does AFT say about the Common Core? Are they in collusion with NEA?

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  5. Jennifer S says:

    10 Things I DO Know About Common Core

    1. The standards are developmentally inappropriate for our younger students. We’re being pushed to implement them anyway.
    2. States have rushed into implementation as a condition of accepting Race to the Top money (sorely needed during lean budget years) without adequately planning or field-testing any testing. We’re being pushed to implement and test anyway.
    3. Research has shown that Value-added assessments (for teachers and administrators) do not have proven validity. We’re being pushed to use these as part of teacher evaluations anyway.
    4. “Everyone” is pushing to develop Common Core Curriulum materials and many of them have not been tested or quality-controlled to ensure that all components are working or compatible with current technology in schools.
    5. School districts are now looking at millions of dollars that must be spent on new technology and equipment that is compatible with the specs provided by PARCC or other testing provider, not to mention additional staff members to keep the equipment up and running, and not addressing at all that many students are not receiving instruction in necessary skills such as keyboarding, word processing, etc. Many of these districts are sorely in need of that funding for other initiatives such as arts, music, PE, programming, Library materials, Librarians, Guidance Counselors, Nurses, etc.
    6. PARCC testing will take days to weeks our of instructional time while schools try to ensure that all student accomodations are met and accessibility options are set up on individual machines for individual students, not to mention the fact that the equipment itself will be unavailable for use by other students for educational purposes while it is being used for testing.
    7. Accessibility options have not yet been fully tested or implemented for the assessments.
    8. Schools have not had adequate time to assess the system capacity for things such as band-width, etc., let alone been able to look at a workable logistical method for testing a huge number of students with a limited number of computers in a finite testing window. Not to mention the impact on the testing company’s servers when millions of children across the country try to access the testing materials at the same time. (I’ve already experienced a Pearson server crash in the middle of computerized testing that impacted 4 separate states and it was only one grade in my school testing that day, not 4 or more grades!)
    9. The assessments themselves have not been tested or benchmarked or had any type of validity proven.
    10. Common Core has been pushed by a small number of educational reformers who have a monetary stake in its successful implementation as anyone who followed the money would be able to recognize. Who will benefit the most from Common Core and the associated high-stakes testing? Not our students, not their teachers, and not their schools. The only folks benefitting from its implementation are politicians, computer hardware & software manufacturers, and curriculum/testing corporations. Start looking at the relatlionships between those groups and you will find that it is exceedingly incestuous.

    NEA, you have sold out your members. I’d like a full dues refund for the last three years. You have not been representing us at all.

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  6. Laura Garrett says:

    This article should be called “Ten Myths of Common Core.” This is NOT about helping students or teachers; it’s about making money. So follow the money and you’ll find the real supporters of Common Core.

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  7. Cathy Sabol says:

    In desperation for Race to the Top money, states agreed to a non-existent national test and an ill-conceived set of standards. The test developers and robo-grading companies will be the only ones who benefit. As a veteran teacher, I am disappointed that my union believes it is speaking for me on this topic. Our children have been damaged by NCLB and will continue to suffer in the name of CCSS. We need the union on our side to point out that the “supporters” are probably having this forced down their throats; they don’t want to jeopardize their jobs by daring to speak the truth.

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  8. Caroline Turman says:

    I am trying to talk myself out of dropping out of the union – educators do not support common core – or merit pay – you do not represent me – or most teachers it seems by the replies – I can’t see myself being a scab but I need that money – my pay is going down and my bills are going up – meanwhile you are taking money from the likes of Bill Gates – what’s next – are you planning to support vouchers? – Very unhappy with your sheer disregard for those of us in the trenches and the children that we are fighting to protect from the ruination of public education

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  9. Maureen Morrissey says:

    In addition to a resounding “amen” to the majority of comments above, I add that the common core includes pre-k standards, when neither pre-k nor kindergarten is mandated, at least in New York. So as a kindergarten teacher, I am now expected to cram two years of instruction into my 4 and 5 years olds (Dec 31 cut-off for K registration). The CCS has basically taken the former K standards and renamed them pre-K, and done the same to the new K standards which are nearly identical to the previous first grade standards.

    As for the claim that 75% or two thirds (really?) of NEA members support the implementation, that survey you tout polled just above 3% of the membership. I don’t know a stat or math teacher that would call this a representative number. What does hold water is that 100% of the comments to this article disagree with its premise.

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  10. Lynn Fedele says:

    The Common Core is nothing but a vehicle to push more testing, such as the PARCC. Pearson will make millions, and teachers will be blamed for low scores on unfair, poorly designed standardized tests, which will lead to more charter schools opening. The NEA needs to fight back!

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  11. e hardaway says:

    Teachers hate it, parents hate it and children hate it. If I hear the word engaging one more time I will scream. It is hard to be engaging when you know what you need to be teaching, but what you are forced to teach is developmentally inappropriate. The teachers are crying at school as well as the students.

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  12. Robyn says:

    Sorry NEA, I am a proud union member and I was not asked about Common Core because if you asked me I would not approve. I disagree for so many reasons. Give me the voice as MY union to speak against these standards. It is not helping educators it is crippling our profession. Please stop spreading the lies that NEA members support this. I think the reality is educators are afraid to speak out in fear.

    As a parent I am disgusted with what my children are doing at school in the name of common core. My kids teachers know what they need to work on and they can tell me that because they know my kids. I am sick of the thought of my kids being pulled out for tests multiple times a year. Even at their young ages they understand how “important” these tests are and are stressed. I put important in quotes because they are the exact opposite from important. Important is how they treat their family and friends NOT a score on a test. Important is helping a neighbor. Important is loving their unique abilities.

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  13. beyond disgusted says:

    if the goal of the CC$$ implementation (and all the other RTTT requirements) is union busting, then I think the standards might actually have a chance to succeed in something…it just won’t be helping children, parents, schools or teachers. The demise of the NEA in the future is a given (if the organization continues to promote such dribble as this article tries to suggest)… and THAT might actually be another part of the hidden agenda associated with CC$$ implementation.

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  14. Cristi Thomson says:

    I have read the article and many of the comments. I’m sorry, NEA, but the Common Core is an attempt to make public schools look bad and require schools to spend from their limited budget to buy scripted lessons and workbooks etc from private companies that want to cash in on education. The idea of standards is fine, but the Common Corps standards are age inappropriate at MANY levels, take the “fun” out of education and make teachers the scapegoat for all the ills of the world. I am an NEA member and have been for almost 35 years, but I do not agree with the NEA stance on this matter. Save our kids, our teachers and our schools and quit touting a standard that is designed to penalize EVERYONE in public education!!

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  15. Sarah says:

    Seriously, NEA. Stop the commercials. Me thinks you do protest too much. I have not heard ONE of the 120 plus teachers at my school say ANYTHING positive about CC- which is crazy since 75% of them-according to you- are supposedly in support of CC.
    Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark- $$$

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  16. Vicki says:

    Follow the money! Teachers were not asked about common core. But, the data machines are going to make a ton of money$$$$$ at the expense of our students. I teach in Florida and the FCAT testing has not benefited our students!

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  17. Joe Hill says:

    I am ashamed that my union is in bed with Bill Gates and the Koch Bros. This is all part of a larger plan to destabilize and defund public education. NEA, you are not representing your members.

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  18. Susan Murphy says:

    Are you kidding? CCSS ELA style is biased against literature, fiction, creative writing, the arts, and anything else that can’t be measured or counted. It was created to marginalize English teachers and remove English as a core subject. The new core subject will be Literacy coaches for the “real” core classes of math and science and the social sciences. (Sarcasm font implied) Stand by your members and object to the privatization of public education. ^0^

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  19. Kathy says:

    Do you represent teachers or the politicians and big business that are supporting the common core? The words you write is not representative of teachers at all!! Open your eyes and ears!!!

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  20. H.Huston says:

    I don’t know who the NEA has been talking to…!?!? I teach on Long Island and I haven’t met ANY teacher who is happy with the Common Core. Maybe it’s due the the horrible way it was rolled out. Too much … to fast … too little training. I’ve been teaching a long time and I have never seen so many teachers, parents and students so unhappy.

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  21. wilda mason says:

    NEA, WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! CC is not for learning, it’ for corp. pockets. Talk to teachers, see the negative effect it is having on our CHILDERN.

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  22. wilda mason says:

    NEA WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!! CC is not for educating students but is set up to line Corp. pockets. Talk to teachers, find out what negative effects it is having on students. Taking naps and recess from elementary students is abuse. Let our kids be kids.

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  23. Louis says:

    Since it’s Halloween…The Common Core is the Demeter — the Russian ship that carried Dracula to Whitby. To disengaged onlookers, it’s simply a ship coming into the harbor (harmless), but the bowels of that ship hold a great deal of objectionable cargo.

    The Common Core is the poster child for Race to the Top and all the mire that comes with it: political trickery, business roundtables, even more high-stakes testing, value-added measures to evaluate teachers, data-driven instruction, standardization of learning and teaching, federal revenue sharing that won’t last, etc,.

    You can dress up standards all you want; they’re still going to have little to no impact on student achievement. Students need solid content, great teachers, involved parents, and families with steady incomes — this is the nourishment.

    The vehicle for the Common Core (the Odell teaching modules in NYS) are second-rate, particularly the ELA modules. The modules are akin to a set of dollar-store tools. Having piloted one in 8th grade, I will not return to them.

    What’s wrong in education resides at the top (DOE and federal education policy, state ed departments, state government): cronyism, bureaucracy, politics, micromanagement, unfunded mandates, etc.

    Standards and testing will never cure poverty. The Common Core will have little to no impact on student achievement. Why is NEA getting behind these reform distractions? You’re only misleading educators, parents, and students. Why are you throwing your support behind non-educators (National Governors Association, David Coleman, Susan Pimentel, etc.,)? You should be listening to dedicated classroom teachers…I guess we’ll need to include NEA in that ever-growing list of windbags up there at the top wheeling and dealing…propagandizing…

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  24. Diane Aoki says:

    I do not know how you can say that over 75% of its members support the common core. No one I know was asked. I suppose you had a scientific sample, but to say it is 75% of its members is somewhat devious, misleading, which makes me even more inclined to believe that you have sold out to gates. You are paying the piper, rather than being an objective advocate for your members,

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  25. Jim Mordecai says:

    One problem with the Common Core State Standards is that there has been no talk on empowering the teachers that work with the students to provide feedback on how specific standards are not appropriate fit for the student or impossible for the teacher to teach given limit of time or developmentally inappropriate standard to be taught. Another reason to encourage feedback and modification by teachers is that some standards will likely prove to be trivial and there is a need to weed out lesser important standards lease the trivial overwhelms essential.

    These are not the 10 standards given by God but standards promoted by wealth of Bill Gates. More the reason to designate a means of modifying the inappropriate standards as they are rolled out, taught and tested.

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  26. Rebecca Biddick says:

    CCSS is a privatization ploy and the NEA knows it! Dennis Van Roekel is an unabashed member of the Arne Duncan fan club–so busy trying to get invited to DC cocktail parties that he can’t remember who sent him there and why! While teachers all over the county are losing their compensation, pensions, healthcare and their JOBS to privatization, Van Roekel touts more professional development! As students are turned into data points and bored stiff by curriculum designed with a narrow focus, Van Roekel cheers for the millionaires and their test driven common core curriculum!
    As a teacher and a parent I am beyond disappointed. The NEA should be fighting these ideas not promoting them!

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  27. Hulya Sakarya says:

    I am also against the core and in agreement with many views above. Mostly I believe the NEA is reaching for straws in a desperate attempt to correct issues embedded in societal ills not school-based alone. We should clear space (and remove the huge financial strain of creating these kinds of initiatives) by giving teachers more room to perform with talent and enthusiasm. Administrators should be focus on developing relationships with teachers and support those with talent and promote them or give rewards. “Talent” is measure many ways. Period.

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  28. Jon Bordeaux says:

    Sorry, I have to add one more thing. The survey included 1200 teachers. 26% of those teachers, or 312 teachers, stated that they supported the CCSS “wholeheartedly.”

    50% of the teachers surveyed, or 600, stated that they supported CCSS “with some reservations.”

    The notion that 76% of all 3.2 million NEA members support CCSS based on answers provided by less than 1,000 teachers is ludicrous.

    Furthermore, when you read more of the survey results, we run into this: “What is it about the Common Core that generates educator support? 38 percent cited clearer guidelines and education goals, 27 percent said the standards are already aligned with what they teach, and 23 percent believed the standards are more rigorous.”

    If so many of us support CCSS, why wouldn’t more of us agree with these wonderful things? From a simplistic survey, you could interpret these results in an entirely different way.

    *Ahem* “What is it about the Common Core that educators do not support? 62% do not believe CCSS provides clearer guidelines and education goals, 73% said the standards are NOT aligned with what they teacher, and a whopping 77% do not believe the standards are any more rigorous than their current state standards.”

    Why not try a new survey with a relevant sample size? Spare me, and the rest of your members, the dogma.

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  29. Debbie says:

    As a teacher for children with special needs & going into her 20th year I have experienced many different methods and strategies for teaching. I started teaching in the Whole Language phase that was the new method of change during the voucher push.. Then we moved into standards and NCLB with a slick move to now needing charters based on API/AYP scores for public schools failing due one size fits all state tests. We all know what happened there. Where were you NEA as public schools fell under these tactics? Where were you as poverty increased for our children with their public schools and incredible teachers were blamed for it all? I asked you then and I ask you now again- where are you now as teacher’s voices are dismissed and bullied into silence? Where are you now as CCSS stalks in with mounting evidence of harm to children, our public school system BUT more importantly our children.. ESPECIALLY the poor, the children with special needs and those who were left behind? NEA I am embarrassed to be a member of an organization that does not listen to the very people and children it aims to serve. LISTEN to the voices… look at the closing of schools.

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  30. Kristina says:

    Lies, lies, and more lies! They can say the governors created it, if that is what they would like to call it, but they would be wrong…Washington and bill Gates are behind it and it is getting rammed down our throats. The NEA certainly knows who is behind it. Do you research beyond this website, beyond what the news media says. You really need to dig in and realize that local control is going by the wayside. This is a sad day in education disguised by something that would seem good to most educators and the general public.

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  31. Myles Hoenig says:

    How much has Gates given the NEA?

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  32. Andy says:

    I strongly oppose CCSS for several reasons, but mostly because they are a ploy by Gates et al to privatize public education. I cannot believe that my union supports them. I am more than willing to side with the fundamentalist, home-school crazies to oppose them.

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  33. Jan says:

    Wow…how far off the mark can the NEA get? Why don’t you try your original poll again now that more states have “rolled out” the CCLS and ways to implement it. It makes me sad AND angry to be represented by a group with such an utterly divergent opinion, and my own local has abandoned us when it comes to fighting for our profession. After 32 years as a special education teacher, I have never been so disgusted, disheartened, and disillusioned by what has happened to our profession, our Union representation(or lack thereof), and our poor students.

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  34. Kamara says:

    As a parent of children whom are effected by this new cirruclum I don’t understand why we as parents were informed over the summer of this new change. My son is in kindergarten and because of this cirruclum he is required to do 1st grade work, which is too much. I am a hands on and only mother, I go to school myself and this is a lot of work for someone his age to handle on his own. The parents should of been altered to this new change over the summer so we could had prepared for this and had our children ready sort of ready for this new change, this was poor planning.

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  35. Radar says:

    Common Core has eliminated the opportunity for teachers to teach, transfer knowledge. While it might be called more rigorous, it’s merely ‘teaching’ the test, the standardized test. Educators have little to no resources to support CC in their classrooms. Clearly a case of putting the cart before the horse!!

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  36. LiveFeedUSA says:

    I am a parent who grew up in a socialist educational environment and can tell that CORE is nothing more than a factory that is to produce a PREDICTABLE and COMPLIANT workforce. One has to look at the fact that CORE is an India based company where 80% of funding comes from USA, 10% from UK and 4% from rest of the participating countries. Core Education & Technologies Inc is Mumbai, India corporation that had 60% increase in REVENUES in 2011/12 year period. All you have to do is to access company’s Annual Financial Report and it’s all there. I am not sure if this server can accept the link, so just google “” I will be doing a series of live shows on the subject at and your comments and experiences are welcome.

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  37. mr noriega says:


    help spread the message to repeal the common core. Learn the truth, what it is, where it came from, why it’s unconstitutional. Please spread the word, post a like, give a review, repost, tell everyone, it’s free. Do you want to help preserve and save the constitution? Why are so many children still failing when the US has spent millions of dollars in this education reform known as the Common Core? Why all the mystery and secrecy? Why can’t you as a parent know what is on the Common Core tests? Learn the incredible secrets they don’t want you to know, by a teacher from the inside. We must repeal the common core before the government decides what your children will be when they grow up.
    this weekend go to type in Mr. Noriega and download the free copy.
    Mr Noriega speaks at the Murray Barnes and Noble Sat 2/7 from 12-2. Followed by 2 hours signing.

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  38. It is a travesty that the union I have belonged to for 25 years and looked to as a bulwark against unreasonable and unconscionable abuses of power over teachers is not only not up in arms against this Corporate Core foolishness, but is ENDORSING it! You should be ashamed to back this corporate push to take over public education. Why am I sending you my money? Get off this obscene bandwagon as fast as possible. Stand up for your members, not for the corporations that are against us!

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  39. Paul E. Doniger says:

    I am an NEA member also and I was also not part of this so-called survey. I do not approve of the common core, either: One size fits few!
    The 11th thing we should know is that these standards were created without a single teacher involved in the actual writing of them.
    Finally, I don’t know why there are ) likes & dislikes on the comments above – I tried to like w a few of them, but nothing happened. Why is that?
    I am feeling as if my dues are being wasted and that my union is not standing up for me at all!

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  40. Marie says:

    It doesn’t matter what we think. Teachers are the least important part of the equation. The fact that the NEA says we love it just emphasizes the fact that we do not count and our opinions don’t matter.

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  41. Heidi Jensen says:

    When I started reading this article, I felt a twing of uncomfortable disbelief. For a moment, I thought I had been missing out on other material from NEA, promoting the CCSS. For a while now, I’ve been doing my best to keep up on current articles, blogs, and conversations about the CCSS. Nothing I have read, especially Diane Ravitch’s blog and books, has expressed a supportive view. Nothing! During the numerous professional development sessions and collaboration, my colleagues and I have experienced ridiculous amounts of confusion and stress, while “unwrapping the core” and trying to make sense of the developmentally inappropriate standards. As well, our students feel the same emotions. I can take care of my own well being in this situation, but our students don’t have those skills or maturity. It crushes my spirit to see them shut down because of what I have to teach. Especially with a population of students who come from high-risk, poverty situations. They come from apartment complexes that have a few hundred units, 10-13 people sharing a 2-bedroom apartment, and slumlords taking advantage of them. They are immigrants, refugees, and unfamiliar with indoor plumbing or washing your hands. They’ve never had proper health care and are in such great need of mental health services. They see violence almost everyday in their cramped little communities, and parents sell their child’s Ritalin or other prescriptions to help support their own habit. They move constantly, miss way too much school, have unsupportive parents, and exist at a level where their basic needs are not met. But I have to teach them the difference between expository and persuasive writing techniques within the 3rd grade ELA Core. These students don’t even realize that they have opinions let alone the courage to share them.

    I’ve wondered for a few months now if NEA has been speaking out against CCSS, and I’ve been looking over anything I can find that NEA publishes. I can’t find a single thing! Also, I’ve never been surveyed about the CCSS! None of my colleagues have either. We have on a state level, but that’s it!

    During such a chaotic time across the country with the reformers ideology and push of high-stakes assessments, and the bullying of teachers while simultaneously blaming us for the failing process…why hasn’t NEA (or any association/union for that matter) shown their support and publicaly promote the high quality of teachers? Is it not part of the mission or direction that any association has? Is there a conflict of interest with whomever, that prevents them from publicaly praising our teachers? Where is that type of advocacy? I’ve asked some people from my association, and no one really has an answer. I’m waiting for the RA in Denver to hopefully find answers to my questions and concerns. Thankfully the word is already out that these types of concerns and issues will be addressed….at the direction of UEA members. That alone is one reason why I continue my affiliation with UEA; it’s the outspoken members that I am proud of. We seem to be the driving force!

    If anyone knows of anything that I could read that discusses this issue, please let me know. I do make it a point to be educated about topics, as much as possible. I look for understanding and information! Having valid information allows me to formulate my own opinion. Unlike my students, I have no problem expressing it.

    Today was our last day of school. As I watched my students join their peers and find their seats on 1 of 6 busses for their one-way 30 minute commute, all I could think about was one particular student of mine. How will he survive the summer emotionally? This student had several emotional break-downs over the year, as he battled with his will and desire to make good choices in his behavior but mentally he was not capable of doing so successfully, without his medication. I spent many times in the hallway with him trying to soothe him while waiting for another adult to come help him. We only have 3 part-time social workers so sometimes it’s an aide,secretary, or principal who has to cover them when they aren’t available. So unfair to this student, and many, many more. Kicking, screaming, crying, hitting the wall, stomping his feet, and sitting on the floor is my student and all I want to do is give him a big hug. But I’m getting edgy myself because the other students are missing out on instruction time which they can’t afford to lose. Tell me I didn’t want to sit on the floor with my student, kicking, crying, and letting off steam. Then, explain again why CCSS is great and will prepare students to be college-career ready, and the latest assessment tool will be so helpful to guide instruction.

    Talk to the hand!!

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  42. Dennis says:

    I do educational school shows for grades K-8. I have talked to many teachers. I met one who is quitting because the standards are, in her opinion, unrealistic and causing behavior problems when students get frustrated.
    I am still with holding opinion, but certainly there are a lot of problems to be worked through.

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  43. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you really realize what you’re talking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my web site =).
    We may have a link change agreement among us

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  44. dana says:

    This article is absolute garbage. Common Core does not take students with disabilities into account AT ALL. I am expected to teach the Common Core modules at breakneck speed with a scripted program that assumes the students have the prior knowledge to draw from. My 5th graders are so low that they don’t know their 2′s times tables by heart, and I’m supposed to teach them dividing decimals using place markers on a place value chart on ONE DAY? Guess what? Not going to happen.

    I love the added bonus of the NEA Resources Tool Kit link at the end being broken. How fitting.

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  2. [...] is chalked up to faulty implementation by teachers, not because of the standards themselves.  You can read it here.  If you have followed Common Core for a while, none of what is in this article is new [...]

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  3. [...] Here are 82 comments written by teachers who commented after this week’s National Education Association (NEA) promo article about Common Core. The article is here. [...]

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  5. [...] Here are 82 comments written by teachers who commented after this week’s National Education Association (NEA) promo article about Common Core. The article is here. [...]

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  6. [...] At any rate, last week, NEA posted a great article on its NEA Today website.  The title?  10 Things You Should Know About the Common Core.  Written for its members, the article seeks to poke some holes in the urban legends around [...]

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  7. [...] 10 Things You Should Know About the Common Core [...]

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