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Chicago Teachers Union votes to oppose Common Core Standards

Updated: May 8, 2014 12:07PM

The Chicago Teachers Union has voted to oppose the Common Core Standards, a rigorous set of educational benchmarks implemented by Illinois law and in many other states.

The union announced its House of Delegates voted Wednesday to urge the city’s teachers to join the “growing national opposition to the Common Core State Standards, saying the assessments disrupt student learning and consume tremendous amounts of time and resources for test preparation and administration,” according to a new release.

The union said it will lobby the Illinois State Board of Education to “eliminate the use of the Common Core for teaching and assessment” and it will “work to organize other members and affiliates to increase opposition to the law that increases the expansion of nationwide controls over educational issues.”

“I agree with educators and parents from across the country, the Common Core mandate represents an overreach of federal power into personal privacy as well as into state educational autonomy,” CTU President Karen Lewis said in a statement. “Common Core eliminates creativity in the classroom and impedes collaboration. We also know that high-stakes standardized testing is designed to rank and sort our children and it contributes significantly to racial discrimination and the achievement gap among students in America’s schools.”

State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus said the Common Core Standards better prepare students.

“These are really standards that not only ensure that students understand the concepts but can apply them to everyday life and to their careers and in the workforce,” she said.

The standards were adopted by Illinois in 2010 and school districts have spent the past few years implementing them, Fergus said. Forty-four states have adopted them, according to the Common Core Standards website.

“Illinois teachers, including those from Chicago, have been instrumental in the development and implementation of the Common Core standards,” Fergus said.
These teachers understand the vast improvement these standards are compared to our prior standards and understand the importance of these standards to the well being of students. The State Board remains committed to the implementation of these standards in Illinois.”

“Anyone who reads the standards knows they really raise the bar for student learning,” she said.


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