June 25, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On ‘School Accountability—A Broader, Bolder Approach'
The Broader, Bolder Approach to Education campaign today released a report recommending changes to state and federal policies affecting school accountability.
WASHINGTON—The AFT fully supports the report's premise that school accountability should be used as a tool for improving schools, not as a blunt instrument to punish schools and teachers. We are particularly pleased that the Broader, Bolder campaign believes school accountability involves more than just test scores. A well-designed accountability system—what we call 360-degree accountability—can help schools give students the comprehensive education and support they need to succeed in the 21st century. A 360-degree accountability system considers factors such as school safety, orderliness and student discipline; the provision of adequate resources; and the richness of the curriculum.
Accountability flows both ways—from public officials to schools, and from schools back to public officials. It is the shared responsibility of every community member to help make sure students have the opportunity to receive the education they need and deserve.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.