The AFT has been a partner in helping revitalize McDowell County, W.Va., for more than a year now, and those efforts are paying major dividends for the local education system. On Wednesday, the West Virginia Board of Education unanimously approved a community schools plan for McDowell County Public Schools. In a separate vote, the state board also voted to return the county's schools to local control. The board had taken control of the schools in an attempt to save them from the poor conditions the county was experiencing.
The teachers and staff in one of Chicago’s largest charter school networks overwhelmingly voted to join the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS), an AFT affiliate. The more than 400 educators work at the 13 schools, with about 6,500 students, that are operated by the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO).
The joint effort known as the “Oregon Organizing Project” has helped more than 3,000 Oregon workers win a voice on the job in the past several months. In the most recent campaign, several Oregon unions pitched in and worked together to help more than 300 Head Start workers at Mount Hood Community College who wanted to form a union to address serious workplace concerns.
The budget that President Obama released today is drawing intense criticism for its cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called those cuts “wrong and indefensible.”
A president’s budget is more than just numbers. It is a profoundly moral document. We believe cutting Social Security benefits and shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries—while exempting corporate America from shared sacrifice—is wrong and indefensible.
This is an excerpt from “Public Schools, Private Agenda: Parent Revolution,” by Gary Cohn of Frying Pan News.
At first glance, it is one of the nation’s hottest new education-reform movements, a seemingly populist crusade to empower poor parents and fix failing public schools. But a closer examination reveals that the “parent-trigger” movement is being heavily financed by the conservative Walton Family Foundation, one of the nation’s largest and most strident anti-union organizations, a Frying Pan News investigation has shown.
The AFT and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been working on finding a better way to evaluate and develop teachers, using research to determine the best ways to train teachers and ensure that students get the best educational experience possible.
Although the AFT and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation don’t always agree on everything, they share the firm belief that students have a right to effective instruction and that teachers want to do their very best.
On Wednesday, top leaders of Brazil's largest trade union federation, Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), including President Vagner Freitas, João Felicio and Artur Henrique, met with U.S. union leaders at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss strategies for joint action, priorities and partnerships moving forward.
In March 2012, AFT helped lead a public-private partnership to help struggling McDowell County, W.Va., and the participants were hopeful that things could be turned around economically and educationally. A year later, the Reconnecting McDowell project has begun to show that investment in communities can change people's lives.
Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, was arrested Thursday for blocking access to a school closure hearing in Philadelphia. AFT spokesman Marcus Mrowka told The Huffington Post that Weingarten was arrested with 18 other community activists for blocking the entrance to the meeting. Weingarten said afterward she knew her actions would lead to arrest, but it was a last-resort attempt to stop the Philadelphia School Reform Commission from closing some of the city's public schools, which she argues would detrimentally affect students, particularly African American and Latino students.