Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Improving Teacher Preparation Programs

For Release: 

Friday, April 25, 2014


Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424

WASHINGTON— Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the Obama administration's announcement regarding teacher preparation programs.

"Every child deserves a high-quality education and well-prepared teachers. We should treat preparation for teachers as we do in the United States for doctors or lawyers, as they do for teachers in high-performing countries like Finland and Singapore. As we said in our "Raising the Bar" report, we need a systemic approach to preparing teachers and a higher threshold to ensure that every teacher is ready to teach on his or her first day in the classroom. This is what we're looking for in any change to state or federal policy. Not a quick-fix, test-and-punish, market-based ranking of programs, but real solution-driven change that will support programs in preparing confident and competent teachers. We're glad the administration is focusing on teacher preparation, but the devil is the details and we've got to get this right."

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.