Educators Demand Changes to Common Core Roll Out

The Connecticut Education Association is demanding major changes to the roll out of the Common Core curriculum in public schools around the state.

The group, which represents more than 40,000 teachers, called for educators to become more involved in the implementation of the new standards at a press conference today.

According to the CEA, teachers have been pushing back against the implementation of the Common Core and are concerned that limited time and resources will prevent students from succeeding on the state’s new standardized tests.

“When you get the results from these tests, you’re going to have students identified as failing, said Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the CEA. “And it’s not true. It’s not true. We should not be identifying students as failures that are not failures.”

The CEA said in a release Wednesday that two-thirds of Connecticut teachers have not had the opportunity to provide feedback on the Common Core.

Republicans in Hartford are working to expand the conversation. Party leaders said they've put together a petition that requires Democrats to hold a public hearing on the roll out.

"It is critical that educators, parents, taxpayers and students be heard on these issues within the legislative process, and that can take place only if we have a formal public hearing,'' said House Republican Leader Larry Cafero, in a statement. "To date, the Democrats on the Education Committee have refused to raise any bills or allow for a traditional public hearing where all parties can be heard.''

The Department of Education released the following response from Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor:

"The implementation of the Common Core is a complex undertaking, and getting it right requires that we meet the needs of teachers and principals in our schools. That’s why, in response to feedback from teachers and other educators, we have sought to make the implementation more gradual. Specifically, we have given each school district the option of whether to administer a Common Core-aligned test or the old CMT/CAPT tests this spring, and we have reduced the stakes of the Common Core tests by enabling their removal from teacher evaluations for the next two school years. We have also provided new supports to teachers, including special training opportunities and a collection of resources on our website. We will continue to incorporate feedback from teachers as we build an education system that enables all our students fulfill their highest potential."

The state adopted Common Core standards in 2010 and is now one of 45 states to have done so. The Dept. of Education said the curriculum is “carefully designed to prepare students for success in college and careers.”

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