[Editor’s note: This is an edited version of remarks made by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, at the Association for a Better New York on April 30.]
Our obligation as a nation, and my obligation as an educator, is to help children achieve their potential, participate in our democracy, and propel our economy forward. In today’s world, that means our students must be prepared to compete—not on the basis of their test-taking skills, but on their ability to solve problems, analyze and apply knowledge, and work with others.
So, what if I told you there is a way to transform the very DNA of teaching and learning to move away from rote memorization and endless test-prep, and toward problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork—things I know many of you have been advocating for years? And what if I told you there is a way to do that not a generation from now, but for students today, who will be the employees you’ll hire tomorrow?
In these are the potential to do that.
(Next page: More of Weingarten’s speech)