A recent New York Times feature helped focus needed attention on some of the economic forces that have contributed to a national teacher shortage. But while higher pay is crucial, the discussion about teacher supply and demand must move beyond economics to issues like teacher voice and working conditions.
Over recent decades, two fundamental challenges have made higher education more and more unattainable: states cutting their investment in public colleges and universities, and soaring student debt as costs rise and colleges shift more and more of the burden to students and their families. This week, Hillary Clinton laid out a bold plan—the New College Compact—that would tackle these two issues head on.
You deserve “a punch in the face.” At least that’s what New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie thinks. In an interview aired Sunday, Christie threatened violence against teachers, and called our unions “the single most destructive force in public education.”
When the three leading Democratic candidates were interviewed by our members and elected leaders, it was clear that Hillary Clinton's vision and leadership stood out from the crowd, especially on the issues that matter most to our members. The consensus we came to was that if we want to shape the debate, we need to endorse now.
Now that the House and Senate have passed their own versions of legislation overhauling the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and its last version, the No Child Left Behind Act, we are closer than we have been in more than 14 years to getting relief from the testing madness and the "sanction, close and punish schools" climate of the past decade.
As Congress works to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, passed originally in 1965, it is clear we need a reset in federal education policy, one that creates the space and latitude schools need to teach children with a well-rounded curriculum rather than fixate on tests.
Thanks to new technologies, we've run the most inclusive presidential primary selection process in the AFT's history, and more members than ever have weighed in.
On Jun 30, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association during its next term. This case is an outright attack against unions to prevent us from representing our members and using our voices to fight for our families, our schools, our colleges, our healthcare facilities and our communities.
Many charters have simply become a way to cash in on kids. And while bad actors abuse the charter system, the Walton Family Foundation is spending hundreds of millions to promote rapid expansion of charters and lobby against regulation and oversight.
Our goal is not only that the presidential candidates hear the voices of working families, but also that the conversation about public education and our economy extends from the kitchen table to the campaign trail.