The Common Core standards and their implementation are suffering attacks all around America and from all sides — in red states and blue, and from the left and right. The Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union at 110,000 members, elected a new president on Saturday, and she’s opposed to Common Core (and high-stakes testing and the use of those tests to evaluate teacher quality).
The new MTA president, Barbara Madeloni, wants a three-year moratorium on testing, and has called for a vigorous campaign against the “corporate forces” behind Common Core and other standards and evaluation efforts. She’s hardly the only key union figure to hold these views: The New York State teachers’ union recently ousted its president for being too accommodating of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ed-reform agenda, including the use of Common Core–aligned tests to assess teachers, though she doesn’t seem to explicitly oppose the Common Core standards themselves.
The Common Core fight has made strange bedfellows — surely this is the first Massachusetts union election whose result the Home School Legal Defense Association has celebrated. There’s a certain appeal to some conservative Common Core opponents in people like Madeloni’s railing against “corporate forces” in education (to get a flavor, read Michelle Malkin’s writing on the moneyed interests behind production of standardized tests, textbooks, curricula, etc.). But it’s also important to remember that Madeloni and her allies also basically think that “corporate” influence extends to anything that weakens government control over public schools, including charter schools, which Madeloni virulently opposes.
Where does Common Core stand in Massachusetts right now? It’s implementing it, but somewhat slowly — the state board of education voted last year to take a couple extra years to compare Common Core–aligned tests with its existing standardized tests.
Via Kathleen Porter-Magee, an excellent source to follow for Common Core news (and a even-handed, expert supporter of the standards, I’d say).