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'American Educator' spotlights community schools

In the new issue of American Educator, Martin J. Blank and Lisa Villarreal explain how more than 150 communities across the country have established community schools to reduce chronic absences due to poor health, decrease disciplinary issues and truancy rates, increase family engagement, expand educational opportunity, and ultimately improve teaching and learning.


AFT report shows decline in number of black teachers

The Albert Shanker Institute has released a major report on the state of teacher diversity which shows that, nationally, progress toward greater diversity is being made, but it is quite modest compared with the need for more minority teachers.


AFT looks at effective teacher development, evaluation

A new AFT report finds that teacher development and evaluation systems that are co-designed by teachers; based on agreed-upon teaching standards; assessed in multiple ways; and supported with ongoing training for teachers and evaluators alike are an effective strategy for teachers, administrators and students.


Obama, Weingarten in new push for free community college

President Obama announced that his America's College Promise proposal, a guarantee of two years of free community college for any qualified student, is now backed by a new College Promise campaign and an advisory board of 32 education advocates—including AFT President Randi Weingarten.


On Labor Day, we honor all of our members

Our union is our members, and on this Labor Day weekend, I couldn't be prouder of the 1.6 million hardworking nurses, teachers, paraprofessionals, higher education faculty and public employees who work day in and day out to teach our kids, keep our families healthy and improve our communities, AFT President Randi Weingarten says.


Member activism keeps hundreds of PSRPs on the job

Faced with the threat of widespread layoffs of PSRPs, members of the Jefferson County AFT in Alabama responded by coming up with a plan that not only preserved the jobs of all the workers, but also laid the groundwork for well-earned raises.


Six steps to debt-free college

The number of debt-free college plans beginning to circulate can be confusing, but the core message is simple: Higher education should be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and without the cost of crippling debt.


Sen. Warren charts bold path to college affordability

In an event at the AFT, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reached beyond recent calls for student loan forgiveness and free community college to urge the nation not just toward lower or more manageable debt, but toward an entirely debt-free education.


Court decision threatens America's working families

The leaders of five major unions issued a statement expressing their disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear a case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, that challenges fees non-union members pay.