AFT Innovation Fund

AFT grants will give teachers a voice on Common Core

Bright IdeaThe AFT has awarded AFT Innovation Fund grants for teachers in New York and Connecticut to offer solutions to problems with their state's rollout of the Common Core State Standards. The New York State United Teachers and AFT Connecticut were awarded the grants in a competition that was announced in July at the AFT convention.

"These grants are about giving educators some seed money to take their ideas about educational standards and convert them into practice," says AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Many educators support higher standards but are concerned about particular aspects, especially the Common Core standards' poor implementation and their developmental appropriateness, particularly in the early grades. We wanted to give the people closest to children a chance to do something different, as long as we were all focused on how to help students secure the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that the Common Core standards are supposed to be about." Read more.

AFT Releases ‘How-To’ Manual on Expanded Learning Time

The AFT released a handbook, “It’s About Time: Lessons from Expanded Learning Time in Meriden, Conn.,”  that explains how three elementary schools’ use of time was redesigned. The manual provides suggestions and advice for educators and school officials interested in both expanded learning time for students and more collaboration time for teachers. The Meriden initiative has been supported over the past three years with grants from the AFT Innovation Fund, as well as federal and state funding. The work is part of a larger effort to expand learning time in Connecticut, with assistance from the National Center on Time & Learning, a Boston-based nonprofit organization. Read more.

The Results of Our Work

Our grantees are focused on producing innovations in their schools, districts, and communities that can be shared nationally. Click here to read about what they've done and to view and download their materials.

News & Highlights

Smooth morning for first day of school at Roger Sherman (8/27/2014)

Quincy continues to support informed implementation of standards, linking community and parents to schools.

Advice from Alabama: To Really Learn CCSS, Dive In and Collaborate (3/14/2014)

Union President helped start extended day in Meriden schools (1/13/2014)

Meriden Teachers Showcase Progress of "Solution-Driven Approach, Improved Outcomes for Students (12/20/2013)

Meriden Schools Reap Benefits From Longer Days (11/12/2013)

Meriden schools look to expand longer day to Sherman, Putnam (8/27/2013)

AFT panels focus on sound Common Core rollout (5/17/13)

AFT President Weingarten Lauds Teacher-Led, Collaborative Education Model (2/8/13)