Reclaim the Promise

It’s time to reclaim the promise of public education—not as it is today or as it was in the past, but as it can be—to fulfill our collective obligation to help all children succeed.

Reclaiming the promise is about fighting for neighborhood public schools that are safe, welcoming places for teaching and learning.

Reclaiming the promise is about ensuring that teachers and school staff are well-prepared, are supported, have manageable class sizes and have time to collaborate to meet the needs of every child.

Reclaiming the promise is about making sure our children have an engaging curriculum that focuses on teaching and learning, not testing, and includes art, music and the sciences.

Reclaiming the promise is about ensuring that children and their families have access to wraparound services to meet their social, emotional and health needs.

The promise is under attack by those who demand and pursue austerity, polarization, privatization and deprofessionalization.

By uniting our voices and joining together around shared values and common goals, we can build a movement—parents, students, teachers, school staff and the broader community—with the power to reclaim the promise.

We will get there by bringing together everyone who believes in the future of public education and focusing on finding solutions rather than winning arguments. Through collaboration, we can create trust, enable risk-taking and foster shared responsibility to ensure that all children have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Together, we will put the public back in public education. We will help our public schools become centers of their communities, secure a voice and respect for those closest to the classroom, and fulfill public education’s purpose as a propeller of our economy, an anchor of democracy, and a gateway to racial, social and economic justice.

Our visions for reclaiming the promise:

  • High-quality public education for all children that nurtures a joy of teaching and learning. Read More
  • Access to early childhood care and education for all families, including the supports they need. Read More
  • Access to affordable and excellent higher education. Read More
  • The resources and staffing our hospitals and medical centers need to provide world-class patient care. Read More
  • Properly funded and dependable public services and programs that meet the needs of our communities. Read More
  • Safeguarding the retirement security for all working women and men. Read More

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series

In a joint effort between the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute, the Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series is designed to engender lively and informative conversations on important educational issues. We deliberately invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the AFT and the Shanker Institute.

What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other.

Join the conversation

  • View the recorded webcasts from previous conversations here.


Community Puts Forward Vision for Newark Schools