Press Release

AFT Secretary-Treasurer Visits Central Falls (R.I.) High School And Meets with Pawtucket Teachers' Alliance Members

For Release: 

Friday, September 10, 2010


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—A top American Federation of Teachers officer visited Central Falls High School in Rhode Island today, where a comprehensive, collaborative approach to transforming the schools is under way to improve teaching and student achievement.

Antonia Cortese, AFT secretary-treasurer, met with the Central Falls High School teachers, who were involved earlier this year in a highly publicized contract dispute in which the superintendent chose a “turnaround” model of school reform and fired the entire staff. The Central Falls Teachers Union, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and the AFT launched a months-long campaign that ultimately was resolved with all teachers being reinstated and the adoption of a collaborative approach to transforming the school using various reforms.

“Figuring out and properly implementing the right solutions with teachers—not affixing blame and pointing fingers—are key to improving teaching and learning in Central Falls High School and in every other public school in America,” Cortese said.

On Saturday, Cortese is scheduled to join the Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance in neighborhood walks, delivering literature on the union-endorsed candidates. She also will make brief remarks before the “Pops in the Park” concert, which is sponsored by the local union, noting the importance of art in education and the community.

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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.