Teacher union president bemoans 'fixation' on testing in US classrooms

The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, told Hill.TV on Friday that there is too much of a fixation on testing and data reporting in American classrooms.

"Testing should be a point in time. You need to have that kind of data," Weingarten told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

"But what is happening now is that there is a fixation on data reporting, data preparation," she continued. "The focus on tests and the preparation for tests as opposed to what kids need."

"Ultimately, other countries in the world don't do this. We're the only ones that fixate this much on testing," she said. 

Weingarten said that while testing in the classroom is important, teachers need the time and resources to implement other education practices. 

"Paperwork comes first, and testing comes first and having to be locked step with what we call a pacing calendar," she said. "I'm an eleventh grade social studies teacher. What is happening in Congress and the presidency right now, like what happened with [Attorney General] Bill Barr two days ago? That is fertile ground for debate about the separation of powers. As a social studies teacher, if I want to teach separation of powers, I want to do that debate." 

Teachers in various states are on strike, or planning to strike, requesting smaller class sizes, pay raises, and other investments in public education. 

Chicago teachers at three of the city's schools hit the picket lines on Thursday, while North and South Carolina teachers rallied earlier this week. 

Sacramento, Calif., teachers announced on Tuesday they would be going on strike later this month.

— Julia Manchester