Printed on: May 01, 2013

Teachers head urges restraint on Common Core penalties


NEW YORK (AP) -- The head of the country's second-largest teachers union said Tuesday that governments should hold off on linking standardized test results with evaluations of schools, students and teachers until everyone is on the same page.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called for a moratorium on penalties associated with tests aligned to the national standards called Common Core benchmarks until the standards have been fully implemented.

"The fact that the changes are being made nationwide without anything close to adequate preparation is a failure of leadership, a sign of a broken accountability system and, worse, and an abdication of our responsibility to kids, particularly poor kids," Weingarten told the Association for a Better New York, a business group.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core standards.

The issue in New York has been contentious. Students in grades three through eight took Common Core-aligned math and English tests during the past two weeks although most schools in the state have not fully implemented the standards.

Some students complained that the Common Core-aligned English tests were too difficult to complete in the allotted time, and there were reports of students crying from stress.