WASHINGTON – In response to the Gates Foundation’s call for a moratorium on accountability related to the Common Core State Standards, Hanna Skandera, Chair of Chiefs for Change and New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary, released the following statement:
“State education chiefs throughout the country, including the members of Chiefs for Change, have taken a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to managing the transition to more rigorous academic standards and assessments. States have negotiated transition plans in good faith with their partners. They have chosen different timelines with regard to using new assessment data to make decisions about teacher support and employment, student promotion or graduation, and school accountability. A one-size-fits-all approach to this work is imprudent and disregards the hard work that has already been done.
“Let’s not forget that states started adopting the Common Core State Standards in 2010. By now, in many states, teachers have been trained, lesson plans have been developed, students are being taught under the new standards, and a practice run of the new Common Core-aligned tests has been successfully completed.
“Standards alone will not improve student learning. They must be combined with great teaching and high-quality assessments to measure whether those standards were learned. State education leaders have been preparing for the full implementation with detailed plans to ensure fair, valid and reliable accountability systems are in place. We owe it to our teachers and students to give them the feedback that they deserve in a timely manner and to use that information to make improvements.
“We must allow states to work with their partners to determine what is best for them, taking into account their own unique state circumstances and with the ultimate goal of producing better educational outcomes for all children. We must uphold our commitment to our students by ensuring the standards are measured and results are used to build a world-class education system that prepares each and every student for college and career in the 21st century.”