Press Release

AFT President Visiting New Zealand, Australia

For Release: 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Janet Bass

Attending 'International Summit on the Teaching Profession' in New Zealand;
Visiting Australian Schools, Teachers, Principals to Discuss Equity, Choice Programs

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will join international colleagues at the fourth annual International Summit on the Teaching Profession starting Friday in New Zealand, and then will participate in a study mission in Australia to visit public schools and discuss education and equity issues with teachers, principals and government officials.

The international summit will be attended by education officials and teacher union presidents from approximately 20 of the highest-performing school systems and five of the fastest-improving countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The theme of this year's summit is "Excellence, Equity and Inclusiveness—High-Quality Teaching for All."

On the OECD's latest PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) international rankings, Australia's and New Zealand's rankings dropped, leading to national debates, as in the United States, over the most effective ways to improve education. Australia and New Zealand are dealing with educational equity issues and debating the effectiveness of choice, competition and privatization programs.

Weingarten will be at the international summit from March 28-30 and in Australia from March 31-April 2.


# # # #

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.