Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

NCLB Outrages

AFT Presses Need for Curriculum Linked to Standards

Ohanian Comment: Weingarten said, "Teachers need some kind of roadmap for the [Common Core curriculum] journey ahead, she said, because "right now we got nothing."

Doesn't she know about Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project? AFT award winner Diane Ravitch is co-chair of the board.

Reader Comment: Standard curriculum is by definition mediocre curriculum -- it ends up being one size fits all. Just look at the last few decades' worth of output by basal textbook publishers!

QUESTION: How much longer will teachers continue to pay for their unions and their professional organizations to sell them out?

ITEM: At the annual meeting in November, NCTE members passed a Sense of the House motion, calling on NCTE to express disapproval of the very notion of national curriculum standards. The NCTE Executive Committee just passed the 2011 Education Policy Platform, which avoids mention of the Common Core. I have asked them to explain. Stay tuned.

Why do I mention NCTE here? Because they, like the AFT and the NEA, are all scrambling for a seat at that proverbial corporate-politico table, leaving their dues-paying members to fight the real battles all alone.

NOTE: The article below is excerpted. Read the full thing--if you can stand the account of AFT's perfidy--at the url below.

By Catherine Gewertz


Keenly aware that the common academic standards and assessments have the potential to reshape American education, the American Federation of Teachers is pressing a key question: What sort of curriculum should lie between the standards and the tests?

That question was front-and-center yesterday as the AFT's committee on implementation of the common standards met at the 1.4 million-member union's Capitol Hill headquarters. The committee is exploring what it can do to ensure that the common standards are translated with fidelity into classroom teaching. By late spring, the committee plans to recommend to the union ways it should position itself to influence professional development, curriculum, common assessments, and other aspects related to the new standards. . . .

All but seven states have adopted the new set of common academic standards, and all but five states are involved in designing new tests for those learning goals. . . . <br> <br>AFT President Randi Weingarten told the group that the union has a potent role to play in guiding the field as it puts the new standards and tests into practice. "Someone has to be out there saying, 'In order to do this, these are the things we need to do,'" she said. Unless the union helps shape the core, the substance, the content, the standards risk being poorly implemented, she said.

The union laid out its views on the need for a "common-core curriculum" in the winter issue of its quarterly journal, The American Educator. . . . [The editorial is titled "Common Core Curriculum: An Idea Whose Time Has Come." The whole issue is devoted to a Common Core curriculum with two pieces by E. D. Hirsch, another by Linda Darling-Hammond, and so on.]

After the meeting, Ms. Weingarten said in an interview that the field needs "common, sequential curriculum" so teachers "are not making it up every day. . . ."

To help guide curriculum developers and the publishing industry as they create materials for the common standards, the lead writers of the English/language arts standards, Mr. Coleman and Susan Pimentel, are refining a document that highlights the key ideas of the standards. Math consultants Beth Cocuzza and Sandra Alberti, who walked the AFT committee through the math standards, said they are working with the lead writers of those standards to produce some form of guidance for educators in evaluating how well materials reflect the standards. . . .

— Catherine Gewertz
Education Week


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.