AFT President Randi Weingarten: Stop Fighting Unions, Start Fixing Tests

Last week, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President, Randi Weingarten, delivered a keynote speech at an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) sponsored event, where she expressed her concerns about Common Core testing.

Recent debate about whether unions are a problem or solution for public schools sparked Weingarten’s opening statement, where she explained how the media blinds many from seeing the positive aspects of unions.

“What makes the news are the polarizing issues,” she said. “You don’t know about all the good unions are doing to promote fairness, democracy, economic opportunity and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.”

Weingarten encouraged the audience to let teachers decide on the subject matter. “Educators want a union,” she said.

The topic quickly merged into addressing the major issue with Common Core implementation. “Too many schools are focused on testing and sanctions,” Weingarten explained. “I believe in the Common Core because I believe deeper learning, problem solving and critical thinking are important.”

From her stance, due process and allowing teachers to have creative lesson plans are both supported and thought of as possible ways to improve classroom effectiveness.

“The bottom line is if we do not get away from testing and punishment, then the Common Core will face a swift demise.”