September 24, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On the Retirement of Marcia Reback
WASHINGTON—We congratulate Marcia Reback on her retirement, which she announced today. Hers has truly been a remarkable career of service.
Marcia is president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, and an AFT vice president. She has been a valued member of the AFT executive council, where her consistent leadership has had a significant impact on a wide range of issues and policies. She led the AFT’s task forces on special education, reading and early childhood, and her expertise and passion on these issues shaped AFT programs that have benefited our members and thousands of students.
Marcia is serious about the value of teachers and administrators working together to make schools better for all children. She believes to her core that when adults can work as a team, the kids in the classrooms will be the winners. Her important work on teacher evaluation, which has been supported by an AFT Innovation Fund grant, is producing groundbreaking reforms. Her role earlier this year in the situation at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island helped resolve a difficult confrontation by focusing on what was best for the students.
This year, she was instrumental in developing Rhode Island’s winning application for a Race to the Top grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Just this week, the Education Department awarded a $5 million competitive Investing in Innovation (i3) grant to implement bold and comprehensive teacher development and evaluation systems in Rhode Island and New York—systems for which Marcia helped lay the groundwork.
In addition to her leadership on education issues, Marcia has consistently supported the role of free trade unions in building a democratic political system, and she served for many years on the AFT’s democracy committee. She has always recognized the importance of the union for our members, as well as for the people and communities we serve.
Just last year, the AFT recognized Marcia’s significant contributions at the national and state levels by naming her the Rollie Hopgood award winner for distinguished service.
# # # #
The AFT represents 1.5 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.