The nation’s largest teachers union still loves the untested, unproven Common Core standards, and will continue the narrative of Common Core supporters that it’s only the “rollout” or the “implementation” of the initiative that has been “botched.”
In a letter Wednesday to the over three million members of his organization, Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association (NEA), said the Common Core standards simply need a “course correction.”
Van Roekel wrote that, in Common Core, “Educators embraced the promise of providing equal access to high standards for all students, regardless of their zip code or family background.”
“NEA members overwhelmingly supported the goals of the standards because we knew they could provide a better path forward for each and every student,” Van Roekel wrote. “The promise of these high standards for all students is extraordinary. And we owe it to our students to fulfill that promise.”
Van Roekel’s emphasis reflects the real agenda of the Common Core standards, which is to achieve the liberal dream of equality of outcome for all students, i.e., that all children must go to college, regardless of their abilities, work ethic, or desires. According to supporters of the initiative, the so-called “rigorous” Common Core standards will save the day for low-income and minority children whom Common Core “architect” and College Board President David Coleman referred to as “low-hanging fruit.”
“In far too many states, implementation has been completely botched,” Van Roekel continued, mentioning only that most teachers are disillusioned with the “implementation” of Common Core, and careful not to cast negativity upon the standards themselves.
“But scuttling these standards will simply return us to the failed days of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), where rote memorization and bubble tests drove teaching and learning,” he wrote. “NEA members don’t want to go backward; we know that won’t help students. Instead, we want states to make a strong course correction and move forward.”
Van Roekel has followed through with his duty from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which awarded $3,882,600 last July to the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education “to support a cohort of National Education Association Master Teachers in the development of Common Core-aligned lessons in K-5 mathematics and K-12 English Language Arts.”
The results of the Gates-NEA partnership are in and a new NEA website is now live with thousands of model lesson plans for teachers, all of which are aligned with the Common Core standards.
Politico reports that Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which supports the Common Core and is also a recipient of funds from the Gates Foundation, said of Van Roekel, “When the going gets tough, union presidents run for cover.”
Stating that he believes only a minority of teachers oppose the Common Core, Petrilli added, “As the head of a democratic organization, Dennis Van Roekel can’t ignore those concerns. But here’s hoping that he shows courage, too, in following through on his commitment to higher standards and stronger schools.”