Press Release

AFT's Weingarten on the US Education Department's 'Testing Action Plan'

For Release: 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

WASHINGTON—Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the U.S. Department of Education's "Testing Action Plan."

"The president and the Department of Education have just proven that advocacy based on evidence works. The fixation on high-stakes testing hasn't moved the needle on student achievement. Testing should help inform instruction, not drive instruction. We need to get back to focusing on the whole child—teaching our kids how to build relationships, how to be resilient and how to think critically. We need to celebrate improvement and the joy of learning, not sanction based on high-stakes standardized tests. So it's a big deal that the president and the secretaries of education—both current and future—are saying that they get it and are pledging to address the fixation on testing in tangible ways. Yes, the devil is in the details, but today it's clear: Parents, students and educators, your voice matters and you were heard.

"This is common sense. It's why overwhelming numbers of Americans think there is too much testing, as seen in the recent Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, and it's why legislators on both sides of the aisle want to fix No Child Left Behind, a law that drove overtesting. The time to act is now."


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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.