Teachers Union’s Mixed Messages On Common Core Shows Weakness in Political Agenda

July 12, 2014

Though the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) received millions of dollars in funding from the private Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development of the Common Core standards, the union will begin its annual convention in Los Angeles Friday with the announcement that it will award grants to assess the standards and write others to replace them. That announcement comes as another resolution drafted by the AFT executive council–while not critical of the Common Core standards themselves–states the initiative has actually been the victim of political corruption, bureaucratic mismanagement, corporate cronyism, and “an invalid scoring system designed to ensure huge numbers of kids fail the new math and language arts exams that will be rolled out next spring,” says Politico’s Stephanie Simon. Despite the fact that the union has given much support to both the Obama presidential campaigns, AFT president Randi Weingarten is expected to be critical during the convention of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has been supportive of charter schools and applauded a recent court ruling that struck down teacher tenure in California. Weingarten is expected to tell her teacher members that Duncan

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