AFT launches massive national campaign to fund public education

The AFT’s long-time advocacy for public schools has just been turbo-charged, with a sweeping, multi-pronged campaign to fund the future of American public education. Amid the continuing wave of teacher activism shining a spotlight on massive shortfalls in education investment, the Fund Our Future initiative aims to take the teachers’ megaphone into Congress, statehouses and communities nationwide.

Never again

“A majority of American teens say they are worried about a shooting happening at their school. Let that sink in,” AFT President Randi Weingarten writes in her latest column for the New York Times. “Young people are demanding meaningful action beyond ‘thoughts and prayers.’ They know, as do law enforcement officers and educators, that there are effective ways to address gun violence.” Read more about the proven strategies that would enhance school safety and reduce gun violence.
 

Strikes and shutdowns

In Los Angeles, UTLA members took to the picket lines because their schools are starved of resources. In Washington, D.C., President Trump has shut down the government to secure his border wall. In her monthly New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten writes that when our elected leaders fail, whether by not funding public schools or by shutting down services that provide for our safety, they strike at the very heart of what makes us a democratic republic. Read the full column.

EdWeek blogger: NAEP must get standards right

Here’s a damning report from Education Week blogger Marc Tucker that rings true in Louisiana as well as many other states: “From the beginning, the leaders of our state education systems have invited testing experts to help them set the cut points for passing or not passing the state tests.  They listen gravely to the advice of the experts, then ask them how many students will fail at the recommended cut point and set a new one at a point that is politically tolerable.”

Tucker writes as the Nation’s Report Card’s governing board sets out to write new proficiency standards. He is president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, and he believes that current NAEP standards do not align to real-world college and career readiness. That, he says, must change.

Appeals Court okays union recognition in charter schools

(New Orleans – September 25) Louisiana’s charter schools must recognize and bargain with unions if that is the desire of teachers and school employees, according to a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The September 21 ruling by a three-judge panel affirmed a decision by the National Labor Relations Board, asserting that the International High School of New Orleans violated the National Labor Relations Act when the group holding the school’s charter refused to recognize the school’s bargaining unit.