Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Responds to International Student Assessment Scores

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—In response to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2022 Program for International Student Assessment results expected to be announced today, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement: 

“Worldwide, the extraordinary drop in math and reading scores shows how detrimental the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath was to student learning and highlights just how important it is that we prepare now, so we’re not caught off guard during another public health crisis.

“While students in the United States are no worse off than students in most other systems around the world, the data reconfirm what we have always known: In-person learning is where kids do best, which is why educators and their unions worked so hard to reopen U.S. schools for safe in-person learning beginning back in April 2020, and why we’ve spent the last several years following the pandemic prioritizing public schooling and investing in real solutions that help kids recover and thrive. 

“These scalable, adaptable solutions that are part of the AFT’s campaign to strengthen public schools align closely with the OECD’s principles for equitable and effective COVID-19 recovery. They strive to create safe, welcoming and well-funded schools with robust, well-rounded curricula that address loneliness, learning loss and literacy. Our focus is on well-being; wrapping services around schools and making them hubs of their communities; regulating the influence of harmful social media; and expanding opportunities for experiential and hands-on learning that equips kids with the skills and knowledge to pursue careers, college and life. 

“Our job now is not to simply study the problem, but to solve the challenges of today and help prepare all our young people for the opportunities of tomorrow.”

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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.