WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the How High the Bar? report by the National Superintendents Roundtable and the Horace Mann League. Weingarten participated at a press event this morning to release the report.
“Teachers know that standards and assessments are essential in the pursuit of both educational excellence and equity. They also know there is an art and a science to this; benchmarks can’t be unreasonably high or unacceptably low. But, too often in the United States, assessment data are used not to inform or improve public schooling but to hold schools to account or, worse, to penalize them. School accountability systems frequently are based on flawed benchmarks that lead to erroneous conclusions and, as this report notes, that portray our public schools in a misleadingly negative light. ESSA, the federal education law, frees us to define success for students and schools more appropriately, and the guidance and recommendations in this report will likewise help education officials use assessments to benchmark more constructively.”