Randi Weingarten is the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). I talk to Randi about what we can learn from successful education models abroad, the increasing importance of teachers having robust global and cultural competence, and how the US can do a better job supporting its teachers.
In 2015 it moved from the political margins and emerged as a full-scale social movement committed to the idea that education should be about children, not testing. States have not yet abandoned Common Core and Race to the Top mandated high-stakes testing, but as the Opt-Out movement continues to grow and its pace of growth continues to accelerate, I believe they will.
You can't make this stuff up. On June 23, 2015 the New York Times reported on Pearson mass Common Core grading centers where a college degree but no special knowledge is required to grade tests and temporary employees make between $12 and $14 an hour plus small bonuses if they "hit daily quality and volume targets."
School worry and test worry are common. There has become an increased focus on grades, GPAs, and a fear-based mentality that kids will not get into a good college unless they have a 4.6 GPA. Sadly, this fearful mentality has trickled down all the way to elementary school today! What is going on? And what should parents do?
In these dire times of unethical decision-making by policy makers, it's important that teachers remain grounded in moral principles that have proven timeless in preserving the promise of public education. It has been painfully evident that union leadership has settled for political maneuvering rather than unwavering principle.