Press Release

AFT Urges Governors to Focus on ‘What Works’ in Education

For Release: 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Contact:

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

AFT's Weingarten: "The 2014 agenda of every governor should address the needs of today's students by ending futile policies of over-testing, closing schools and sanctioning teachers and by supporting programs that actually will move our kids forward."

WASHINGTON—Statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, urging governors to provide the same access to a quality public education for all children as is done in other industrialized countries. The National Governors Association is meeting in Washington, D.C., this weekend.

"Governors can and should make a difference in the lives of every child in America by giving them access to a high-quality public education that includes programs and services to mitigate poverty. Continuing to ignore the lessons of top-performing industrialized nations impedes our children's opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the 21st century global economy.

"The 2014 agenda of every governor should address the needs of today's students by ending futile policies of over-testing, closing schools and sanctioning teachers and by supporting programs that actually will move our kids forward. As is done in the top-ranked industrialized nations, we should address socio-economic disparities by providing wraparound services in schools to meet students' health and social service needs—which are essential given a U.S. child poverty rate of 23 percent. States should direct resources to the schools and students with the greatest needs, ensure that teachers are well-prepared and supported, provide all students with a robust curriculum, expand and enhance partnerships with parents and community, provide multiple pathways to graduation like career and technical education, and ensure there is high-quality, universal early childhood education.

"Governors must summon the political will to embrace what works in high-performing countries so that we can reclaim the promise of public education."

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The AFT represents 1.6 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.