Learning First Alliance Supports Additional Time to Get Common Core Implementation Right


U.S. Department of Education announcement respects educator voice, provides delay in tying teacher evaluations to standardized assessments.    


Washington, D.C. – August 21, 2014 – Today, the Learning First Alliance (LFA), a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million parents, educators and policymakers, released the following statement:


“The Learning First Alliance supports the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to allow states to delay tying teacher evaluation to standardized assessments aligned to new standards, including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).


LFA has long recognized the potential of the CCSS to transform teaching and learning and provide all children with knowledge and skills necessary for success in the global community; we have also long advocated for a transition period that respects the time that good implementation requires prior to attaching high-stakes decisions to aligned assessments. Today’s decision is a good step in the right direction.


The educators who are working hard every day to implement these standards – to ensure that all students have the opportunity to benefit from a higher bar for achievement, regardless of their zip code or family background – deserve and require our support in their efforts. This time is one key aspect of that support. Now we all – federal, state and local policymakers, educators, parents and other critical partners – must use this time effectively, working together to ensure schools have the curricular materials, technology infrastructure, professional learning, time for collaboration and other resources that are necessary to support student learning under these standards. We should look to those states and communities where implementation is going well and learn from their experiences while recognizing that individual implementation plans and materials will and should reflect the needs and priorities of each state, district and school.


It is also critical that we use this time to ensure that educators on the ground, as well as the parents and students who interact with the standards every day, have a significant voice in implementation, including in how assessment and accountability systems will be structured moving forward.


Today’s announcement indicates that the voices of educators, parents and local policymakers are getting through to the federal government. We must continue to work together to get implementation right.”


To learn more about the LFA, visit www.learningfirst.org.


About The Learning First Alliance

The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education associations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Alliance members include: the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, AASA: The School Superintendents Association, American Federation of Teachers, American School Counselor Association, International Society for Technology in Education, Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council), National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National PTA, National School Boards Association, National School Public Relations Association, Parents for Public Schools and Phi Delta Kappa International. The Alliance maintains www.learningfirst.org, a website that features what’s working in public schools and districts across the country.