AFT Media Affairs
Antonia Cortese Re-elected Secretary-Treasurer;
Lorretta Johnson Re-elected Executive VP
SEATTLE—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten won re-election resoundingly Saturday after the more than 3,000 delegates to the AFT convention affirmed transformative education policies and embraced her vision for smart reform.
Weingarten won 95 percent of the vote for a second two-year term, beating back nominal opposition. Also re-elected as the other top officers of the 1.5 million-member union were Secretary-Treasurer Antonia Cortese and Executive Vice President Lorretta Johnson.
“Over the course of the last two years, we charted a vision to lead and propose and to improve what goes on in the classroom, in healthcare facilities and in public services. This election is a clear affirmation of that,” Weingarten said. “AFT members are in their classrooms every day, working to transform our public schools for kids and communities. I’m grateful that the membership trusts our leadership to continue to travel down this road. They want to be part of the solution that saves public education the way it ought to be, and they want us to fight those who scapegoat teachers.”
Earlier in the convention, delegates ratified the comprehensive overhaul of teacher development and evaluation systems first outlined by Weingarten in a January speech. The resolution calls for evaluation systems based on clearly defined teaching standards, the use of multiple measures of teacher practice and student outcomes, and other means to provide teachers with the support they need to succeed. Delegates also embraced a resolution spelling out what every student needs: well-prepared teachers; a safe and supportive learning environment; a rich, well-rounded curriculum; healthy bodies and minds; strong partners at home to support kids’ academic and social growth; and curricular, instructional and educational resources tailored to their developmental and educational stages, learning needs and strengths.
Convention delegates also heard from Bill Gates, who lauded many of the collaborative reforms involving scores of AFT affiliates. “There is a new understanding that school reform must include teacher partnership. If reforms aren’t shaped by teachers’ knowledge and experience, they’re not going to succeed,” Gates said.
The AFT has been holding its biennial convention, which ends today, since July 7 in Seattle. Coming together under the theme “Building Futures Together,” more than 3,000 delegates have voted on major union policies that address the need to save and strengthen public education, build common cause with communities, and improve the institutions in which our members work.