March 10, 2009
AFT Media Affairs
Statement by Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers,
On President Obama's Remarks Today
To the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
WASHINGTON—We embrace the goals and aspirations outlined today by President Obama when he called for providing all Americans with a comprehensive, competitive education that begins in early childhood and extends through their careers. The president's vision of education-and the AFT's-includes world-class standards for all students, new and better tools for teachers, greater effort to recruit and retain good teachers, and competitive teacher salaries with innovative ways to reward teaching excellence.
We also fully support the president's call for shared responsibility for education-among public officials, school administrators, parents, students and teachers. Teachers want to make a difference in kids' lives, and they appreciate a president who shares that goal and will spend his political capital to provide the resources to make it happen.
As with any public policy, the devil is in the details, and it is important that teachers' voices are heard as we implement the president's vision. The AFT stands ready to work with the president to make America the leader in public education.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.