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Teaching Profession

AFT’s Weingarten Cautious On Duncan’s Common Tests

By Alyson Klein — June 17, 2009 1 min read

AFT President Randi Weingarten has written about the need for national academic standards and testified about it on Capitol Hill.

But, in a wide-ranging interview with Edweek reporters yesterday, she was less than enthusiastic about Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s proposal to use a portion of the Race to the Top fund to help states develop more uniform, rigorous assessments.

I asked her if she supported the idea, and she said the “short answer is yes” but that the “devil is in the details”, a Washington response if there ever was one.

Weingarten isn’t known for her brevity, particularly in responding to reporters, so I asked her to elaborate. She said that if there are going to be new standards, teachers should be trained to implement them. Her answer sounded very similar to what The American Prospect’s Dana Goldstein wrote in this post. But Weingarten’s response centered mainly around the common standards, not the specific testing piece.

I guess the AFT is being careful about how it discusses the proposal until it sees more from the Education Department.

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