... Newark Teacher
AFT President Randi Weingarten continues to advocate for Common Core State Standards and now opposes standardized testing and VAM.
I am sitting here reading my American Educator/Spring 2014 magazine and I cannot believe my eyes. I have reread Randi's column Teaching and Learning over Testing so many times I am getting a headache. Our fearless leader is "... in favor of the Common Core State Standards while opposing the fixation on standardized testing in education." Randi dear, maybe you should call your BFF Bill Gates for a refresher course on education reform in America. Common Core State Standards and standardized testing are inextricably linked. The purpose of national standards and nation-wide testing is to expand markets for Microsoft, Amplify and Pearson.
Randi, however, is on the latest bandwagon wishing to help students "... develop persistence and grit to deal with struggles and setbacks." I may be old fashioned, but I am skeptical of the ability of teachers to inculcate students with grit; the value du jour. Grit is acquired by traversing la vida loca and not by effective lesson planning.
The most amazing phenomenon in Randi's intellectual evolution is she is opposed to VAM recognizing that "... its flaws and limitations are well-established." If that is the case, why, may I ask, has VAM been part and parcel of AFT negotiated teacher contracts? I am sure Arne Duncan can provide assistance in getting you back on track with VAM, Randi.
Randi is interested in reclaiming the promise of public education by supporting strong neighborhood public schools. I am pleased to report that Randi and I are in agreement on nearly all points. Perhaps by the time I wake up in the morning, she will have altered her position on Common Core State Standards. The woman changes colors more often than a chameleon!
A Newark Teacher