Teachers overwhelmingly support new "Common Core" academic standards in language arts and math, according to a new poll by the American Federation of Teachers. But they also are overwhelmingly worried that new tests tied to those new standards will be given to students too soon.
The poll by one of the national teachers unions also found that a majority of teachers (57 percent) think their districts are prepared to implement the new standards -- though a bigger majority (72 percent) don't think their districts have given them the tools and resources to successfully teach the Common Core.
The poll of 800 K-12 teachers had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Common Core standards are new blueprints for what students should learn in the two core academic subjects. Florida is one of 45 states that has agreed to adopt them and is now moving toward implementation.
The poll found that 75 percent of teachers approve of the new standards, but 74 percent are very or fairly worried about new exams tied to them.
The AFT said the poll backs up the union's call last week for a moratorium on the "consequences" of "Common Core-aligned assessments" until the standards are "properly implemented and field-tested."
Randi Weingarten, the AFT's president, said, "The last thing we need is for teachers and the public to lose confidence in something that can actually transform teaching and learning. We've got to get it right."
As part of its move to Common Core, Florida is to replace FCAT exams with online tests from The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. That is slated to happen in 2015, though lawmakers passed legislation this spring saying the state should not proceed until all districts are "load tested" and the state is ready.