Press Release

AFT Statement On American Education Week

For Release: 

Monday, November 16, 2009


Janet Bass

American Education Week, celebrated Nov. 15 – 21, spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a high-quality public education from kindergarten through college, and recognizes the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great.

WASHINGTON—American Education Week is a good time to focus on the best methods to ensure that our public schools are places where all students can get a high-quality education so they can navigate life, compete in our knowledge-based economy and reach their God-given potential.

I have seen firsthand that the best way to strengthen education and turn around low-performing schools is to create a collaborative environment in which all stakeholders work together and share their best ideas. Teachers, students, parents, school administrators, elected leaders and community groups need to join forces to create positive change.

The AFT is committed to supporting ideas to improve education. Last month, we announced the first recipients of the AFT Innovation Fund ( We asked our members to think outside the box, and they responded with promising, bottom-up, teacher-led reform initiatives. From creating innovative teacher evaluation and compensation systems, to establishing community schools, to developing more effective teacher recruitment and retention programs, the AFT is leading reform efforts that are good for kids and fair to teachers.

Student success is our first priority. We are dedicated to creating a culture of collaboration and cooperation in our schools to make them 21st-century learning centers.

# # # #

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.