March 19, 2012
AFT's Weingarten: "This report is a clarion call that our national security depends on a high-quality public education. Yet the council's main task force recommendation is to create an opt-out, rather than fortifying and strengthening our public system so that every child and every parent has great choices. No other leading international competitor does this to their public education system."
WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the Council on Foreign Relations' task force report, "U.S. Education Reform and National Security":
"This report makes the case that our national security depends on America's children having high-quality education. It makes some recommendations that we firmly embrace, including using the Common Core State Standards. Yet one of the council's three recommendations is to create an opt-out, rather than fortifying and strengthening our public system so that every child and every parent has great choices. The countries that have outperformed us have done so by investing in their public systems, building the capacity of their teaching forces, working collaboratively and ensuring that education is everyone's responsibility: parents, teachers, students, community and government alike. No other public service that is essential to the nation's well-being—like law enforcement, firefighting or the armed forces—has abandoned its role as a public entity.
"We know what works to strengthen teaching and learning. We should scale up effective programs used in the top-performing U.S. school districts and nations, not ignore them. When it comes to their children's school, parents want to have confidence that their child can attend a strong neighborhood school and receive a high-quality education. We owe them nothing less."
Contact the Media Affairs office to receive a copy of AFT President Weingarten's dissent.
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten
# # # #
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.