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NEA on NYSUT withdrawal of support for CCSS as implemented

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel: To fulfill the standards’ worthy goals, we need an equal commitment to common sense implementation.

WASHINGTON - January 27, 2014 -

This past weekend the New York State United Teachers’ (NYSUT) Board of Directors withdrew its support for the Common Core State Standards as implemented and interpreted in New York State until the state education department makes major course corrections to its failed implementation plan. NYSUT also reiterated its call for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences from standardized testing. The union’s board acted unanimously Saturday morning at a meeting in Albany.

The National Education Association issued the following statement today from its president, Dennis Van Roekel in support of educators of New York:

“The new Common Core State Standards provide real opportunities for the students in our nation’s public school system, but we owe it to them to provide teachers with the time, tools, and resources to get it right. Educators in New York were given no choice but to make a strong statement against the inadequate implementation of the standards. Teachers, administrators, parents and communities must work together to align the standards with curriculum, instruction and assessment, and this isn’t being done in New York.

“NEA and many other leading education organizations have expounded on the importance of getting implementation right, and we support the call by New York educators to listen to those in the classroom. Educators need adequate time to learn the standards. They need the time to develop the tools and curriculums that are aligned to those standards. And assessments must be aligned with the standards. Implementation of the standards is proceeding better in states like Kentucky and California where educators and parents were involved in crafting the implementation plan from the beginning. If we are to deliver a high-quality public education that prepares students for college, careers, and citizenship all states must design implementation plans with practitioners and families that follow common sense principles. What is happening in New York is a bad case of cart-before-the-horse.

“Last fall, NEA members were polled about their views regarding the new standards. Our members overwhelmingly support the goals of the standards, yet only four in 10 teachers said they were playing a major role in the implementation of the standards. When asked to suggest measures to help teachers with the standards, educators cited collaboration time with colleagues, more planning time, updated classroom resources, in-service training and better technology to administer the computer-based assessments.

“Our members support the Common Core State Standards because they are the right thing to do for our students and they embrace the promise of the standards: that all students will have access to the critical thinking and creative skills they need to succeed, regardless of where they live. But in order to fulfill the standards’ worthy goals, we need an equal commitment to common sense implementation. And there should be no high stakes consequences before adequate time is given to ensure quality implementation. When states fail to step up with the needed investments for implementation, NEA and its state affiliates are pushing hard for the resources needed. We all need to work together—parents, education support professionals, teachers, administrators, communities and elected officials—to make sure we get this right.”

For more on CCSS and the NEA toolkit visit

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

Celeste Busser
(202) 822-7823