Association of American Educators Signs on in Opposition to National Curriculum

The Association of American Educators has joined a coalition of other influential groups and individuals from across the political and education spectrum in opposition to a nationalized curriculum.

In conjunction with opposing a national curriculum, AAE also opposes the ongoing effort by the U.S. Department of Education to have two federally-funded testing consortia develop national curriculum guidelines, national curriculum models, national instructional materials, and national assessments using Common Core’s national standards as a basis for these efforts.

While we feel that nationalized curriculum is not in our best interest, AAE believes that expectations should be high and similar for all schoolchildren, regardless of their state of residence.  Having said that, AAE does not agree that a one-size-fits-all, centrally-controlled curriculum makes sense for this country or for any other sizable country with regional identities.

Such an approach threatens to close the door on educational innovation, freezing in place an unacceptable status quo and hindering efforts to develop academically rigorous curricula, assessments, and standards that meet the challenges of a new global economy. AAE and this coalition are deeply committed to improving this country’s schools and as such, cannot support this effort to undermine local and state control of public school curriculum in favor of an inside-the-Beltway bureaucracy.

Furthermore, transferring this kind of power to the federal government will only further subject our students to political whims.  We should not let our children’s education be swayed by the inevitable political pressure that undoubtedly all presidential administrations will experience. Centralized control in the U.S. Department of Education would upset the system of checks and balances between different levels of government, creating greater opportunities for special interests to use their national political leverage to distort critical education policy. Our current decentralized fifty-state system provides some limitations on special-interest power, ensuring that wrongheaded reforms don’t harm children in every state, and that local systems can teach curriculum meaningful to their region.

AAE’s positions on national standards reflect those of our members. Only 31% of our surveyed membership believes that the federal government should mandate curriculum standards, while 64% supported the states making the final determination about the standards. Teachers in the field recognize that students in addition to being held to a high academic standard, ought to be given the opportunity to learn from state-based curriculums designed with the goals of their state in mind.

It is our hope that in signing on in opposition to a nationalized curriculum the voices of our members will be heard. American children deserve a robust curriculum that prepares them for a demanding world that is free from centralized special interests.


  1. G Mayers at 3rseduc

    I think national standards/curriculum should be very simple. No more than 3 goals per grade per subject. That way you would not be kowtowing to the testing and publishing companies (as think how expensive textbooks are in California where they kowtow to every politician, reformer, special interest group, lobbyist, think tank….). That way too, you wouldn’t have students graduating high school and not knowing, say, their times tables BUT you’d have an educated populous.

  2. Doug

    AAE is a bunch of right wing anti-union malcontents who could meet in a phone booth. Who cares what they think?

    • Michael

      Though I agree that National standards have proven themselves with NCLB…to not (really) improve education…but drive it out of learning and innovation, I have to disagree with you Doug. I have been a member for the past 5 years (with AAE) and their newsletter and website information has been education and inspirational at times. They seem to be working with students in mind. They have expressed concerns agains unions and against administration and school boards when they see procedures instituted that do not promote the best educational systesm for children.

  3. neil rice

    The Federal Government should not be in our schools, not their job. They can’t even a Bill ( so much for education.) I’m taking my 6 grandchildren, putting them in private school. Funny how private school cost alot less, and they pass. It’s not the money stupid, it’s the curriculum. So do your homework, Doug!

    • tired teacher

      actually it isn’t the curriculum, it is the homes. while i don’t agree with your perceptions of reality, you obviously have a family structure that cares greatly about the academic success of your children/grandchildren.

      as do my families in private/charter schools.

      combine that, with their ability to remove students that disrupt the classroom, and you have a reason why they are more successful

      • Jimmy Kilpatrick

        The inability to accept responsibility is a good sign of a poor teacher. You always blame the student or parents for your failures! Kids didn’t cherry pick their parents and as a public school teacher neither should you. The curriculum is a major factor with whole language, finger counting math, and social engineering as the major focus of public schools.

        • tired teacher

          no, i’m not ignoring my responsibility, i’m making it clear where my efforts are handicapped

          but like all those who think they know everything, you ignore the salient points of my argument and instead turn to insulting me and calling me lazy.

        • Doug

          Respectfully Jimmy, you are crazy. Poverty is at the root of ALL failure in education. American suffers on international comparisons because it allows much more poverty than other developed nations.

    • Michael

      I do believe there should be some basic national standards. I have to disagree that private schools serve our students better. Private schools do not provide the assistance to students with special needs, nor do they provide educaiton to ALL students. By cherry-picking their population of students, they cater to those who can afford that. Should the voucher system ever be put in place (lets hope not), you will see a drastic decline in the quality of education that private and parochial schools provide. It is definitely not apples to apples…

  4. Doug

    What the anti-national curriculum people are afraid of is this. The illiterate states like the south tend to vote Republican. The brainy states like Massachusetts and Minnesota tend to vote Democrat and are more liberal. A national curriculum and national testing would “out” the Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas type states as being WAY behind the two coasts and the north-east. This would make people very discontent with their state governments and they would demand better systems which would cost far more money. The red-neck states would have to raise taxes and beg the federal government for more money. None of this would sit well with Republicans and conservatives. They would much rather wallow in their sheer ignorance for another few decades.

    • Hope and Change

      What a odd comment considering the minorities in the liberal states are taking a bath. If it wasn’t for the poverty pimps and their likes in Washington these folks wouldn’t have a meal or a roof over their head. Add to this the scum unions and you guys can have the left and right coast. Mass had the best standards until they elected a black. Just like everywhere else once a black is in change things going down the toilet!

      • Doug

        That comment is so racist I believe the moderator should remove it.

        If conservative like racists speaking for them, then go ahead and leave it up.

        It tells us more than we really want to know about the opponents of minorities, unions, liberals etc.

  5. Crystal Jewelry

    Which Kind Of National Curriculum? Don’t Tell It Is To Teach Our Children How To Love His Country!

  6. True Religion Womens Jeans

    I have to say it is pretty good

  7. Rosetta Stone

    I admire what you might have completed right here. I merely like the portion in places you say you might be performing this to present again but I’d presume by all of the feedback that this is often functioning to suit your needs also.

  8. Nike Shox Clearance

    You received quite a beneficial blog site Appears hereabercrombie and fitch reading through for around 50 percent an hour. I’m a beginner along with your submit is effective for me.

  9. Anthony Manzo, Ph.D.

    We do need a National Curriculum, but not for the schools but for Professional Education
    Teaching is a Craft that needs a Core Curriculum…here are some examples of How to Best Teach and Grasp Professional Education
    First and foremost, Teachers CANNOT be held accountable for student progress. In all likelihood teachers have been denied access to the Best Tools; Teacher Education is all hit and miss. Courses with identical titles can vary very significantly from school to school, and professor to professor. This is a recipe for near chaos, ironically there is no “crisis” in education, and we should not act as if one exists if for no other reason than because CRISIS conjures panic, a search for culprits and competing disruptive reformers with vested interests in everything but education. However, it is past time to take some measured evolutionary steps whose benefits could be globally far reaching.
    Continued at:

    Here are some examples of How Best to Teach…

    1. Guided Reading Procedure* for accurate reading comprehension, Recall and Study Reading
    2. Enabling Questions (EQ) For Active Student-Centered Inquiry & Verbal Learning* []
    3. The Informal Reading-Thinking Inventory (IR-TI)
    The Informal Reading-Thinking Inventory:
    Assessment Formats for Discovering Typical & Otherwise Unrecognized Reading & Writing Needs – and Strengths []
    4. Help with Reading Mathematics: Content Area Literacy Teaching []
    5. Dyslexia as Specific Psychological Disorder -Conversion Reaction Syndrome []
    6. iREAP: Improving Reading, Writing, Thinking and Aesthetics in the Wired Classroom []
    7. A Fun High Frequency, Whole Word Flash Card Practice Routine – “Say it like a Barbie!”* []

  10. ugg

    iREAP: Improving Reading, Writing, Thinking and Aesthetics in the Wired Classroom [

  11. Texan J

    Let’s see….National Curriculum?? What’s next one world currency, government, violation of the U.S. Constitution (oh wait, that’s been done). This is all a little scary, and I think we are headed to one word….Socialism.

Leave a comment


May 9th, 2011

Staff Reporter

Career Index

Plan your career as an educator using our free online datacase of useful information.

View All

On Twitter

India working hard on #highered reform, will partner with US academics on cooperative exchange #edchat #ukedchat

45 minutes ago

Stoll, which offers Pimsleur Approach audio language courses, sued over deceptive marketing #edtech #education

2 hours ago

North Carolina's new voucher program is working, writes @RobertEnlow of @EdChoice #edchat #education #edreform

17 hours ago

On Facebook


Enter your email to subscribe to daily Education News!

Hot Topics