AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joins a growing chorus of working family representatives who have spoken out about the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which will go before the Supreme Court in January. Greedy CEOs and wealthy special interests want to manipulate the rules in their favor and make it harder for teachers, firefighters, nurses and other public servants to join together and fight for working families. A bad decision from the court could limit working people's ability to negotiate better wages, benefits and working conditions.
While Pearson doesn't publish George Orwell's "1984," it sure seems like the education publishing and testing giant is using the classic novel as a blueprint for running its testing programs these days. Ostensibly to prevent cheating, Pearson has been spying on the social media accounts of students and reporting activity they find as questionable to local school administrators, according to recent news stories. The story broke when the superintendent of a New Jersey school emailed her colleagues after discovering the monitoring. The AFT has since reacted with shock and is calling upon Pearson to end the practice.
Vice President Joe Biden headlined a diverse group of leaders who spoke at the Career and Technical Education Workforce Development Summit yesterday, an event sponsored by the AFL-CIO and AFT. Biden was joined by Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and numerous labor, business and community leaders who spoke to a packed house.
Starting tomorrow in Los Angeles, teachers from all around the country will be arriving in Los Angeles for the AFT convention. AFT President Randi Weingarten will preside over a convention that will feature speakers like Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.); Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.); California Gov. Jerry Brown; Tom Torlakson, who is running for California superintendent of public instruction against an opponent funded by corporate "reformers"; the Rev. William Barber, the driving force behind North Carolina's Moral Mondays; and, most importantly, the teachers who work hard every day to educate the country's future generations. The convention runs through Monday morning.
At the U.S. News and World Report’s Debate Club, AFT President Randi Weingarten makes a very clear case for why all teachers need strong due-process protections, most notably to allow them the flexibility to innovate and discover new and exciting ways to reach their students. In sharp contrast to the arguments made by corporate-education proponents such as Michelle Rhee (who is also featured in the Debate Club), Weingarten highlights why due-process rights for teachers are beneficial to students and the communities they live in.
The AFL-CIO joins the global labor movement in denouncing the recent abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by extremists in Nigeria. This horrific crime reflects both the continuing use of gender-based violence as a tool of subjugation and political control and the ongoing exploitation of children in armed conflict. The AFL-CIO is very concerned by the ongoing attempts by extremist organizations to deny women and children their right to a good education.
Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day and people across the country are thanking their teachers on Twitter, using the hashtag #ThankATeacher. Here are some of the best tweets so far, including the picture (on the left) tweeted by NASA administrator Charles Bolden.
AFT and In the Public Interest launched a new website Thursday, Cashing in on Kids, to track charter schools and the private companies that often run them on a for-profit basis. The two groups argue that corporate-run charter schools are doing a bad job of serving students and that there is little accountability for these companies. In particular, the website will track K12 Inc., Academics, Imagine Schools, Charter Schools USA and White Hat Management.