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American Federation of Teachers
boom and backlash
December 19, 2018
Could the forces that fought the Common Core bring down personalized learning?
Major funders and the federal education department are promoting the idea. Teachers are wary. Parents are perplexed. Criticism is coming from both the political left…
Puerto Rico partnership
March 6, 2018
Top school choice group advising Puerto Rico on controversial efforts to expand charters and vouchers
EdChoice, a group that backs school vouchers, is preparing to help Puerto Rico officials expand school choice, or what critics there have called “privatization.”
January 30, 2018
Cary Kennedy ‘aligns with all of our issues and values,’ teachers union president says in endorsement
Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy has made increasing teacher pay a key part of her educational platform.
DeVos on offense
January 16, 2018
DeVos criticizes Bush-Obama policies, saying it’s time to overhaul conventional schooling
One era of federal involvement in education is over, Betsy DeVos said Tuesday, in some of her most expansive public remarks since taking over the department last year.
Ending the churn
October 19, 2017
A splintered system and lack of teachers have created instability for Detroit schools. Now, leaders are craving solutions.
Liberal school choice laws, a decentralized school system and a shrinking pool of available teachers have so destabilized the teacher labor force that many school leaders say they’re constantly looking for new educators to hire
Week In Review
October 6, 2017
Week In Review: Count Day pizza, ‘Burger King’ money, and a teachers union spy
The slushies, ice cream, and raffle prizes that schools across the state used this week to lure students to school on Count Day…
back to the future
October 11, 2016
AFT freaked out after Joel Klein was rumored to join Hillary Clinton’s campaign, WikiLeaks email shows
"Joel may have been incredibly good in Bill Clinton's Justice Department, but he has a toxic reputation when it comes to education," Weingarten said.
July 27, 2016
Teachers brave heat to vent anger over ALEC’s influence on Indiana education laws
Most of their complaints focused on the state’s private school tuition voucher program.
February 16, 2015
Ritz rallies supporters against efforts to limit her power at Statehouse
Gov. Mike Pence, Republican legislators and his appointed State Board of Education's refusal to respect Ritz's authority as state superintendent — including targeting her in several bills this year aimed at removing her from leading the Indiana State Board of Education — is what prompted the Indiana Coalition for Public Education to plan the rally.
July 3, 2014
NEA president: Current testing system “will crumble”
The president of the National Education Association Wednesday called for a massive reduction in the amount of student testing and predicted accountability systems based on such assessments “will crumble.”
October 23, 2013
For Weingarten, New York's Common Core fight hits home
New York State Superintendent John King and AFT President Randi Weingarten speaking on a panel at an event hosted by Teaching Matters. At center, Teachers College professor Jeffrey Henig, who moderated. Randi Weingarten has been a national union boss for over three years, but her heart remains in the state that groomed her as a labor leader. So when California recently became the latest state to alter its testing policies amid reforms to learning standards and teacher evaluations, Weingarten said her thoughts turned to New York. "I get embarrassed when a state like California is figuring it out more than my beloved Empire State," Weingarten said Wednesday in a speech in midtown Manhattan, where she accepted an education award from the education nonprofit Teaching Matters. Weingarten twice referred to California, which moved a step closer to eliminating high-stakes tests for a year, while making her latest case for why New York should strip high stakes from state tests for teachers and students in order to focus on adopting Common Core learning standards. She also appeared on a panel discussion with Commissioner John King, whose handling of state education policies she has been critical of.
August 22, 2013
AFT reprising March on Washington appearance on 50th anniversary
Here’s the press release we just received: AFT to Highlight the Promise of Public Education at March on Washington EventsWASHINGTON— As it did in 1963, the American Federation of Teachers has joined other leading civil rights, labor and progressive organizations as a co-convener of this year’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and several surrounding events. Thousands of AFT members and leaders from more than a dozen states will gather on Aug. 24 in Washington, D.C., for the march, many of whom were at the original 1963 march. These members—who come from school districts like Chicago and Philadelphia—will highlight “reclaiming the promise of public education” as an important theme for this year’s march.
July 18, 2013
What to expect from next week’s AFT conference
Via a press release from the American Federation of Teachers: On Monday, AFT President Randi Weingarten’s keynote speech will lay out the…
April 30, 2013
Weingarten: Common Core should stay, but stakes should go
Wading in to the growing backlash against the Common Core standards today, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten called for a moratorium on using scores tied to the new standards to make important decisions. Weingarten made the proposal in a speech before business and civic leaders at the Association for a Better New York, days after students across the state completed tests aligned to the Common Core for the first time and months after local union leaders began sounding the alarm about the state's Common Core rollout. She praised the learning standards and said she did not oppose testing students on them. But she said a "failure of leadership" and a "broken accountability system" could derail the Common Core's chances of boosting student achievement in New York and beyond. States and districts frequently use test scores to decide which schools to close and students to retain. Increasingly, they are also using test scores to measure teachers' performance, a policy shift that Weingarten has supported but many of her members have not. Waiting at least a year before acting on the scores of Common Core-aligned tests would give students and teachers the chance to adjust to the higher standards and let states and districts assess whether the tests are yielding meaningful results, Weingarten said. "That's what assessment and accountability are supposed to be," she said. "You see if the whole shebang works, before you say it's ready for prime time."
April 24, 2013
AFT social media site joins growing list of free curriculum aids
Adam Feinberg, a high school global studies teacher, posted the most documents of any New York City teacher on ShareMyLesson.com, a new union social media website. It was more than just altruism that drove Adam Feinberg to post hundreds of instructional materials online for his colleagues around the world to use. There was also, he hoped, a wedding gift waiting for him when he was done. Feinberg, a global studies teacher at the Secondary School for Law in Brooklyn, was jockeying for a vacation prize that American Federation of Teachers offered to the teacher who posted the most documents to ShareMyLesson.com, the union's new curriculum-sharing website. Feinberg's tally of over 300 worksheets, lesson plans, and slideshows won him $5,000 to pay for his European honeymoon. The website, which the AFT launched in partnership with the British publishing company TSL Education last year, is part of a growing online ecosystem that has emerged in recent years as educators across the country confront the challenge of transitioning to new Common Core standards. Existing curriculum materials are not aligned to the new standards, which emphasis text skills, non-fiction, and critical thinking.
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