Press Release

AFT's Weingarten on Department of Education’s Announcement to Extend NCLB Waivers Without Teacher Evaluations

For Release: 

Friday, May 9, 2014


Michael Heenan
202/585-4371; Cell:202/577-3941

WASHINGTON— Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Department of Education's Announcement to Extend NCLB Waivers without teacher evaluations:

"This new guidance suggests the Department of Education has listened to responses from the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and educators and parents across the country concerning high-stakes testing and its impact on virtually every aspect of public education.

"We have long advocated for evaluation systems that provide relevant and timely feedback that help teachers inform and improve their classroom practice, and we believe this letter is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, many evaluation systems have been about sorting and sanctioning educators, not about their support and growth.

"That's why we are encouraged that the department has seen the effects of testing on the reliability and accuracy of teacher evaluation and is offering the potential of a much-needed midcourse correction on teacher evaluation systems that ensure all educators receive robust, timely and constructive information and support that informs instruction for students. We urge states to take advantage of this chance to fundamentally improve teaching and learning in our classrooms."

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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.