Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement to extend No Child Left Behind (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.”