Press Release

AFT Denounces Romney’s Rehash of Failed Education Proposals

For Release: 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Carolyn Fiddler

GOP Candidate Prefers Attacking Teachers to Improving Schools

WASHINGTON—Speaking from a conference on collaborative school reform, where she joins more than 400 educators, administrators and leaders to discuss how collaboration between labor and management can transform our public education system and improve teaching and learning, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten addressed the education policy proposals delivered by Mitt Romney today.

"Today, Mitt Romney squandered an opportunity to participate in a meaningful discussion of real education reform by attempting to disguise attacks on teachers and public education as meaningful policy proposals. Instead of looking to improve education for all children, he parroted failed voucher and privatization schemes that have not improved student learning. Romney's proposal to take even more money out of public education and funnel it to private schools is absurd at a time when school budgets already are being slashed to the bone across the country.

"Right now, American education needs a collaborative approach toward improvement and reform that focuses on student achievement, but Romney wants to divide the people who work most closely with kids every day from students, parents and the community. What Romney fails to understand is that when teachers and public schools have the resources they need, students win. Romney is presenting America with a false choice: If you support teachers, then you must be against kids. Real public education improvement comes from teachers, administrators, parents and communities rolling up their sleeves and working together to help all kids, not just some kids, succeed.

"It's a sad day when a presidential candidate uses a speech on education reform to further demonize teachers and divide the country—which do nothing to serve our children."

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The AFT represents 1.7 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.