Monday, June 9, 2014

Teacher Union President: The Right Is Not Going To Be Won Over On Common Core

Teacher Union President: The Right Is Not Going To Be Won Over On Common Core:

Teacher Union President: The Right Is Not Going To Be Won Over On Common Core

But American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten says the emphasis on testing is damaging Common Core’s reputation elsewhere.posted on June 9, 2014, at 1:56 p.m.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Rebecca Cook / Reuters
WASHINGTON — Conservatives won’t ever support Common Core on ideological grounds, but hearts and minds are still winnable when it comes to the education standards.

At least that’s what Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in an interview with BuzzFeed.

The Common Core education standards, meant to teach students critical thinking skills and move away from the memorization-focus of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, have faced a sharp backlash this year. The standards have put the teachers union in a unique position: Although they support Common Core, the AFT broadly opposes immediate testing-based implementation when it comes to federal education standards.

Weingarten said the backlash against Common Core is part ideological and part based on poor implementation and organizations that put too much emphasis on testing.

“The right’s vitriol is ideological. The losing of parents and teachers is a matter of incompetence,” Weingarten said. She attributed the program’s poor reception to groups like the Gates Foundation “wanting to measure more than wanting to teach.”

The last few weeks have been tough for Common Core and its proponents. Near the end of May, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley banned Common Core after the next school year. In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill banning the standards, effective immediately.

Opposing Common Core has become a rallying cry for conservatives, who sometimes dub the standards as “Obamacore.” Even governors who initially supported the program, like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, are now walking back their previous stances.

“All these conservative governors left to their own devices initially supported the standards,” she said. “What changed? The Koch brothers decided not to support the standards, ALEC didn’t support the standards, others who fund right-wing causes don’t support the standards.”

But Weingarten wasn’t as concerned about losing conservative states like South Carolina or Indiana, where she said those in charge will do anything to “undermine public schooling in America.” She emphasized that no matter what she does, the Teacher Union President: The Right Is Not Going To Be Won Over On Common Core:

American Federation of Teacher’s Weingarten Fights Forward with President Obama on Student Loan Reform

  • Written by Press Release
  • Category: Commentary
WASHINGTON—(ENEWSPF)—June 9, 2014. Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on President Obama's executive order to make student loans more affordable.  Several AFT members will join President Obama for today's announcement.
"No student should have to face the triple threat of skyrocketing higher education cost, high interest rates and crushing student loan payments.  We must reclaim the promise of higher education by making college affordable and accessible to all Americans.
"The president's new executive order to ease the burden of student loan debt will allow an additional 5 million borrowers—including tens of thousands of AFT members—to finally have a fighting chance at the American dream.  This action is just one step in the right direction.  Now is the time for lawmakers in Washington to join the president in pushing for more student loan reform, including the passage of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's bill allowing students to refinance their federal and private loans.
"The AFT stands with students and their families, and we will continue to fight until this mountain of student loan debt is no more."
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: