Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on ‘Primary Sources’ Teacher Survey

For Release: 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Contact:

Janet Bass
202-879-4554
jbass@aft.org

Weingarten: "The bottom line: Teachers are overwhelmingly respected and valued by parents and their communities, and it's long past time for policymakers to listen to what teachers say they need to help children succeed."

WASHINGTON—Statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on the Scholastic/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's third annual Primary Sources report, "America's Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change."

"Of course teachers care about kids. It's great that Scholastic and Gates have confirmed what survey after survey has shown—that teachers go into this work to make a difference in the lives of children, but they want to have a real voice and the collaboration they need to do that work.

"What's really clear in this survey is that those who have a voice are able to collaborate and have the resources and lessons they need to feel more confident about what they are doing. But it is really concerning that 82 percent of teachers cited constantly changing demands as the most significant problem they face, and teachers feel like they don't have a voice in their districts and at the state and national levels about what is happening in their schools and classrooms. While teachers are some of the most respected people in their communities, in places like Philadelphia and Newark, they face attack after attack from those who want to strip them of their voice, fire them, and destabilize public schools and neighborhoods.

"The bottom line: Teachers are overwhelmingly respected and valued by parents and their communities, and it's long past time for policymakers to listen to what teachers say they need to help children succeed."