The challenges the AFT faces demand a different approach to unionism—an approach that is relevant and appropriate to the 21st century, that is creative and visionary, and that unifies the members of our union with those we serve. This is what we call solution-driven unionism. We know that across the AFT, there are many inspiring examples of collective work to improve our workplaces and our communities. That's why we created the Prize for Solution-Driven Unionism: to recognize extraordinary accomplishments that exemplify our mission of providing high-quality public education, healthcare and public services. More Information
The AFT and Britain's TES Connect have come together to create "Share My Lesson," a new digital platform for U.S. educators to collaborate and share teaching resources and innovative ideas, with a significant emphasis on resources to guide teachers in implementing the new Common Core State Standards. The site is live, and teachers are already registering and sharing their best ideas with colleagues around the country.
The AFT has launched the second phase of its campaign against excessive testing, Learning Is More Than a Test Score, which will include a policy agenda that takes into account what we learn from teachers, parents and others.
The nation has just celebrated Labor Day, yet few Americans have any idea why. A new report on how the history of labor is treated in high school history textbooks offers an explanation—most Americans never got any education about the labor movement's proper place in our country's history and its many contributions to the nation's development.
"Raising the Bar—Aligning and Elevating Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession," issued by the AFT Teacher Preparation Task Force, urges a move toward a systemic approach to preparing teachers and a more rigorous threshold to ensure that every teacher is ready to teach. The report says that all future teachers should be required to meet a universal and rigorous bar that gauges mastery of subject-matter knowledge, much like the bar exam lawyers must take before they can enter the legal profession.
Not surprisingly, AFT members along the Eastern Seaboard felt the impact of Hurricane Sandy—both professionally and personally. The storm and its aftermath highlighted the essential services provided by educators, state workers, healthcare professionals and other public employees. Many of these workers stepped up to help with the rescue and relief efforts. In some cases, these employees mounted heroic efforts in the face of very difficult circumstances.