CTA/CFT Applaud the Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Lawmakers for their Commitment to California’s Students and Educators

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

SACRAMENTO – The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers commend Governor Jerry Brown, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, and lawmakers for demonstrating leadership and commitment to California’s students and educators by passing AB 484—a bill that would overhaul the state’s assessment system and align it to the new Common Core State Standards.

“The transition to the Common Core standards and new assessments will significantly impact what teachers teach and what students learn. We appreciate the commitment of the governor, state superintendent and lawmakers who worked together to ensure we have an accountability system that works for California,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “Passage of this bill means California will take a common-sense approach to implementation of the standards, as they must be done thoughtfully and in a way that’s best for our students and best prepares our educators.”

“Thanks to AB 484, we can proceed toward the Common Core at a reasonable and appropriate rate of speed,” said CFT President Josh Pechthalt. “AB 484 means that high-stakes applications of the new systems, such as measuring student or school progress, will be held in abeyance until the new standards, assessments and infrastructure to implement them are lined up properly, teachers are trained, and students can be fairly assessed with them.”

AB 484 ensures school accountability and allows more students to take part in the field testing of the new computer-based Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (MAPP) tests, while also ensuring student and educator readiness for the new standards.

“Testing students on material they have never been taught makes no sense. Neither does forcing students to take two standardized tests in the same year,” added Vogel. “AB 484 eliminates outdated tests, ensures accountability and allows students to transition to the new assessments.   Educators must also have the professional development and resources needed to align curriculum and instruction with the new standards.”

Said Pechthalt, “We thank the Governor, legislators, and Superintendent Torlakson for helping our students and teachers to move forward to full engagement with the new Common Core system without the distraction of administering and taking a now redundant and meaningless set of standardized tests.”

For the sake of California’s students, both CTA and CFT hope U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reconsiders and grants the waiver request when it gets to his desk.