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American Federation of Teachers: 'Public education under attack'

Photo from American Federation Teachers Facebook

The leader of the American Federation of Teachers is weighing in on the state's flawed Common Core rollout and school receivership in Buffalo. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says Randi Weingarten was a member of the Governor's Common Core Task Force.

AFT President Randi Weingarten tells WBFO she feels that public education has been under attack. But Weingarten said there is finally some growing recognition that reducing children to test scores and teachers to algorithm is not working. She supports the 21-recommendations the Common Core Task Force issued.  She said it is time to get rid of 'high stake testing' and work toward helping local communities is to change student achievement. 

"Think about how many parents have now 'opted out' their kids out of tests. I give the Governor credit. He finally -- he evolved," said Weingarten in referring to Governor Cuomo's most recent task force that she participated in.

Weingarten points to Buffalo's school district where 25 city schools are under state receivership.

"You know, at the end of the day the receivership law, that was passed in New York State was completely flawed. Just like the last evaluations law," said Weingarten.
Weingarten is also in support of Governor Cuomo's proposal to spend 100-million dollars to turn failing and high needs schools into community schools Weingarten highly supports community schools that would provide wrap-around services to help students living in poverty. 

"The first speech I ever did, as national president, was to lift up community schools. That was eight years ago -- to actually say we need to wrap services around the schools and to actually bring parents into to welcome them," explained Weingarten.