AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the AFT has been a national leader in the standards and accountability movement and supports the underlying goals of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to raise educational standards for all children and, in particular, to meet the needs of disadvantaged children; and


WHEREAS, the AFT supports the use of appropriate tests to measure whether those standards are being met; the disaggregating of data; a well-qualified teacher in every classroom; well-trained paraprofessionals; extra support for low-performing students; and incentives for turning around schools in need of improvement; and


WHEREAS, the NCLB purports to promote these goals; and


WHEREAS, notwithstanding its stated goals, some key provisions of the NCLB are seriously flawed and need to be corrected, including:

·       The Adequate Yearly Progress’ (AYP) formula that is neither research-based nor scientifically reliable and valid—for example the testing of special education students and English language learners—and consequently misidentifies schools as "in need of improvement" and results in the inappropriate application of sanctions;

·       The narrow set of school improvement interventions that are not research-based and may be punitive rather than helpful to schools and the children they serve;

·       The unrealistic requirements for highly qualified teachers, particularly in regard to special education and middle school teachers, and the exemptions for charter school teachers and supplemental service providers; and

·       The failure to provide the resources to help paraprofessionals meet the law’s requirements; and


WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has consistently failed to live up to its commitment to adequately fund NCLB; and


WHEREAS, two years of inept and opportunistic implementation by President Bush’s Department of Education have undermined the very goals it was charged with supporting and has instead provided opponents of public schools a blunt instrument of attack; and


WHEREAS, the AFT is committed to assuring that the NCLB is amended to correct its flaws and appropriately funded to accomplish its important goals; therefore:


RESOLVED, that the AFT


·       Demand that the Department of Education or the Congress alter the unreasonable rules and regulations and implement the improved rules consistently;


·       Demand that the Department of Education or the Congress require all states and districts to provide all options allowed in the law for teachers and paraprofessionals to meet NCLB education requirements and to extend deadlines where they have not yet been offered;


·       Lobby Congress to address the defects in this law that harm children and the schools they attend and to fully fund the corrected NCLB;


·       Assist state and local affiliates by creating tools to help them:

1.       respond to the law’s shortcomings;

2.       communicate with elected officials and others about the law’s strengths and weaknesses;

3.       navigate its requirements to mitigate its punitive effects; and

4.       negotiate effective interventions and corrective actions; and


·       Support candidates who are committed to making the necessary changes and securing full funding; and


·       Work tirelessly to remedy the problems with NCLB so that its promised benefits reach every child.