Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Con to the question "Is the Use of Standardized Tests Improving 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," HuffingtonPost.com, Feb. 21, 2012
"Ms. Weingarten said she has been out [as a lesbian] to her family, friends and co-workers for many years. Both Mr. Shanker and Ms. Feldman knew she was gay as she rose in the ranks of union leadership, Ms. Weingarten said. Until Thursday [at an Empire State Pride Agenda awards dinner], 'I had never acknowledged my sexuality in such a big setting, although it had never been hidden from anybody,' she said... The union [United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, NY] helped to win domestic partner benefits for municipal workers in the early 1990s. It has negotiated antidiscrimination language in its contract, supported gay and lesbian students at the Harvey Milk High School and backed a 2004 law that required city schools to combat bullying and harassment based on bias." Sewell Chan, "Teachers’ Union Chief Discusses Gay Identity," NYTimes.com, Oct. 12, 2007