Podcast: Lily Eskelsen Garcia

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia hopes Congress can get rid of the high-stakes testing that she says has crippled the American education system.

She says the culture of testing established under "No Child Left Behind" has been an "unmitigated disaster."
"Ask any public school teacher how 'no child left untested' has affected their ability to teach the whole child," she says. "We no longer care about things like the arts and critical thinking."
The NEA President, formerly a teacher in the Granite School District, was recently back in Utah for a national education conference.
Hyperbole aside, Eskelsen Garcia says she's focused on the current debate in Congress over a "re-write" of NCLB.
"This is maybe the debate of our lifetime for an educator," she said. "We are asking them to do a simple thing. Give us better indicators of how kids are doing. If a test score has to be part of that, it shouldn't be the only thing. I want to measure how many kids are getting college credit in high school and the classroom size in richer and poorer districts. Those are the kinds of things we should be measuring."