Richard A. Fowler
WASHINGTON—Today, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten announced that Ann Mitchell, the AFT's assistant to the president for field coordination, will serve as administrator for the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Mitchell will take on operation of the local beginning Tuesday, Dec. 15.
This move follows the AFT executive council's vote to accept the DFT's request to place the local under voluntary administratorship.
"My appointment of Ann Mitchell comes at a time when the local and our members are facing internal divisions and external challenges such as austerity, benefit cuts, and a threat of widespread charterization and layoffs," said Weingarten. "The future of Detroit's public schools is at stake, and our members—despite their tremendous and justified frustrations at the terrible way they have been treated—have been a lifeline for Detroit's kids and parents.
"This administratorship will create a sense of stability and help the local become the voice it has historically been for educators, students, families and the community. After years of working with Ann, I am confident her leadership and experience will provide the steadiness the local needs. She possesses the imagination and moxie required to launch an unprecedented member-engaged, community-involved campaign to fight for public education, for the schools our children need, and for the dignity and respect our members deserve."
"Our union is our members, and they deserve a union that can effectively support them, the students they serve and the entire Detroit community," said Mitchell. "This partnership is intended to rebuild the DFT and make it a stronger union for its members."