Oregon union for teachers and staff opposes new Common Core tests

PORTLAND, Ore. The union for Oregon's 40,000 educators is asking the Oregon Department of Education to cancel next spring's Common Core reading and math tests.

The Oregon Education Association says the new exams are unproven, too hard and would harm students by making most of them feel like failures.

A state spokeswoman admits close to two-thirds of students are expected to fail the new test in the first year but argues scores are just a measuring tool.

She said the state won't consider canceling the scheduled tests because the standards are geared to what Oregon students need to know to succeed in college and the real world.

Parents like Mark Gajdostik, who opted his kids out of school testing and even began home-schooling his two sons, think the new Common Core methods are overly complicated and based on making money.

"The teachers and parents need to really make sure their child is getting the education they need rather than education some bureaucrat somewhere thinks they need," Gajdostik said. "The teachers are the professionals that have to implement this for 30 plus children in a classroom. Listen to the teachers. Teachers are in the trenches, and if the teachers are saying, 'Whoa hold on,' then listen to the teachers."

Oregon adopted the Common Core curriculum in 2010. The standards have been adopted by 44 other states.

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