BURLINGAME – David A. Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Association, released this statement today regarding the adoption of Common Core State Standards by the State Board of Education:
“The 325,000-member California Teachers Association supports the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and recognizes them as a guidepost in improving the chance for success for all students. In adopting these standards, the State Board will be joining the majority of Californians committed to improving opportunity for all students.
“The Common Core State Standards successfully integrate and apply the complex skills our students will need for success in college and work, provide a core foundation for a balanced assessment system, provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate learning, and are aligned to internationally benchmarked standards.
“That said, as educators, we and others are concerned about the Common Core math standard mandating all eighth-graders be enrolled in Algebra 1— a change from our successful current standard that requires students to complete the course in order to graduate high school.
“We have made considerable progress in every measurable way—including an increase in the number of students taking, comprehending and completing Algebra 1. However, many students are not prepared to complete Algebra 1 in eighth grade, and the proposed ‘pathway’ approach for students who aren’t could revert to tracking students — a practice we’ve worked hard to eliminate. The implementation of math courses should remain at the local discretion of educators and school districts based on student readiness.
“That is why we urge the State Board of Education to closely monitor and make every effort to assure that this doesn’t happen. We believe the ultimate success of the Common Core State Standards for all California students will depend on their full implementation and providing adequate funding for all students in all schools, not a select few.
“We look forward to working together on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. It’s important for California lawmakers and the State Board of Education to remember that the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards will depend on a careful realignment of curriculum, textbooks, assessment and professional development. Without this, the state is setting students and teachers up for failure. Educators must have adequate training on the new standards, as well as adequate textbooks and materials to help students achieve them.”
Common Core State Standards
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.