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Union Details Teacher Influence on Common Standards

When the common standards initiative first got off the ground, one of the things that created tumult in some quarters was the relative absence of teachers on the panels created to write and review the documents.

One of the results of the too-few-teachers complaint was that the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which co-lead the common standards work, reached out to the national teachers' unions to help work teachers into the process. More teachers were placed on the panels, and teams from around the country also did periodic reviews of the drafts as they went through revisions, says the CCSSO's Chris Minnich.

Now the 1.4-million-member AFT is braggin' on the role their members played in shaping the standards. They're circulating a letter, too, from the lead writers on the math and English language/arts panels, thanking the teachers for their efforts and detailing the changes that were made as a result of their feedback.

The 3.2-million-member National Education Association made reference to their teachers' influence, as well, in a statement they issued when the first public draft of the common standards was posted for public comment, and in a brief summary of the initiative.

We've heard before that a meaningful teacher role in shaping curriculum, assessments and such builds buy-in in a major way. We'll see if that holds true here.

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