Fight Back Friday: Telling it nationally

AFT President Randi Weingarten knows a good idea when she sees one. And, when it reinforces her call for a moratorium on applying high-stakes consequences to high-stakes tests, Weingarten is eager to share that idea nationally.

Earlier this week, Weingarten — a leading voice on the testing issue — called on AFT leaders across the nation to tell their state education commissioners that the time is now for the moratorium. Her call to action came on the heels of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s announcement that he would allow states to request additional time before using the outcomes of new assessments based on new Common Core Standards.

All of this, of course, is welcomed news by NYSUT which — through it’s Tell It Like It Is campaign, listening tour, parent petition and school-board resolutions — has been calling on SED Commissioner King and the Regents to “get it right” since early in the year. Thousands of educators, parents and community leaders have weighed in and their efforts, supported by Weingarten and others, are beginning to pay off.

Here is Weingarten’s message in full:

I wanted to let you know about an important announcement Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made last week.

As you know, in a speech that I gave April 30, the AFT called for a moratorium on the high-stakes consequences of the Common Core assessments to give teachers and school districts time to properly implement the new higher standards. As a result of that speech and literally thousands of letters sent by you—our members and activists—in support of putting a brake on the stakes, the secretary said he listened and will allow states to request additional time before using the outcome of new assessments based on the new standards.

Now it’s time to tell your state education commissioners, the ball is in their court.

This announcement acknowledges that implementing the standards requires resources, aligned curriculum, time and professional development to support great instruction to help all kids succeed. We hope that this delay on the high-stakes consequences of testing will give states the space to do a better job implementing the standards. It is now up to the state education chiefs to take advantage of the delay, and work actively with teachers and engage parents to ensure the rollout of the standards is successful.

Our active engagement on this issue made a difference. Let’s not stop here. Send a message today.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

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