Situation: The American Federation of Teachers has coordinated an effort to create a Common Core Educational Standard for all schools across the country. This effort now has the support of 45 states and is soon to be implemented. This now means that almost all school systems will be coordinating on a universal standard of information to be learned for the gamut of classes offered to our students.

The problem now is that not all teachers will be able to teach to these standards as not all have been prepared to achieve these goals. The results could be disastrous while another plausible solution to fix education will go down in flames before its actual worth can be determined, and billions of dollars will be wasted in the process. (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUyQi7xY4Rw)

As active members of the AFT, we received the following urgent email memo:

“Take action to create a moratorium on Common Core high stakes testingEarlier this week AFT President Randi Weingarten called for a moratorium on high stakes connected to Common Core assessments until states and districts have worked with educators to properly implement the new Common Core State Standards.

Help us continue to flood the inboxes of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and your state education commissioners by adding your own letters to the more than 30,000 that have already been sent!

We are calling for this moratorium until states and districts have worked intensively with teachers and school staff to properly implement the standards through a high-quality curriculum, in-depth professional development, parent and community engagement, and field-testing of assessment tools around the standards.

Solution: The former CA State Superintendent of Public Education, Jack O’Connell, thought so highly of EXCL in Education, that our system was fast-tracked and received a preferred vendor status to assist in both teaching and professional development for California schools. Both of these objectives have been highlighted as the most important goals by President Weingarten in the above-mentioned memo.

Once initiated, EXCL in Education could perform many functions. Possibly the most important would be to establish itself as leading the way in showing the federal government how to enact ITS OWN Common Core Standards without penalizing AFT faculty – since they would be able to demonstrate successful lessons.