Last updated on: 6/6/2012 | Author:

Randi Weingarten, JD Biography

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Con to the question "Do Standardized Tests Improve Education in America?"

“I [recall] times as a teacher when I thought my students learned the most. It wasn’t when we were intensely preparing for the Regents exams or any other standardized tests. My students were most engaged during project-based learning, when they worked in teams and wrestled with complex topics, such as the decision to drop the atomic bomb during World War II…

Those are the kinds of educational experiences that excite students and teachers alike. Teachers don’t want to spend valuable time endlessly preparing for ‘the test.’ They want to guide their students to ask insightful questions, offer well-reasoned opinions, and work diligently until they master content. Those are the types of classroom experiences that unleash students’ ingenuity and reveal their understanding of the material.

And that’s the kind of learning that is being stamped out by the current pervasive fixation on testing.”

“Fixing the Fixation on Testing,”, Feb. 21, 2012

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), July 2008-present
  • Member, Democratic National Committee
  • Blogger, Huffington Post
  • Former Vice President, AFT
  • Recipient, Douglas W. Jones Award for Community Service from Empire State Pride Agenda, Oct. 2007
  • Former President, Assistant Secretary, and Treasurer, United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, NY
  • Former Chair, Municipal Labor Committee, New York, NY
  • Former Vice President, New York City Central Labor Council
  • Recipient, Judge William B. Groat Alumni Award, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, 2001
  • Counsel to United Federation of Teachers president Sandra Feldman, 1986-1998
  • History Teacher, Clara Barton High School, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY, 1991-1997
  • Lawyer, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, 1983-1986
  • JD, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, 1983
  • BS, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, 1980
  • Graduated, Clarkstown North High School, New City, NY, 1976
  • Lives on Long Island, NY and in Washington, DC
  • Member, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, NY
  • Born in New York, NY in 1957