On Feb. 19 the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) issued a formal statement in response to the recently released report by the US Department of Education (US ED) Equity and Excellence Commission titled, "For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence."
The Equity and Excellence Commission was mandated by Congress to provide advice to Education Secretary Arne Duncan on the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities and to recommend ways in which federal policies can address such disparities.
Today she wrote:
'This report is the closest thing we have had to a blueprint—crafted by people from across the ideological spectrum—for laying out the necessary programs and policies that the United States can take to close its shameful equity gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots.'
'A national commitment to equity ensures that our children are able to not only dream their dreams, but achieve them.
'It calls for concrete investments in wraparound services and preschool.'
Weingarten notes that the report also spells out specifically how to help and sustain the national teaching force:
' — not by blaming teachers and their unions, but by elevating the profession, providing high-quality preparation, a feedback-based evaluation system, high-quality curricula, teaching resources, safe and nurturing schools, and collaborative learning environments.'
The AFT represents 1.5 million teachers, paraprofessionals, school-related personnel, higher education faculty and staff, federal, state and local government employees, nurses and healthcare workers and early childhood educators.
Weingarten insists that,
'We owe this (equity) to all our children. We strongly urge leaders to do at long last what is not only morally right but necessary to ensure a healthy democratic society with a thriving economy.'
Read the entire AFT statement online.
AFT Communications Director Kris Havens added to Weingarten's statement today, stating that, ''there are countless reasons that our elected officials should act to reform our current system. Read more in President Weingarten’s New York Times piece."
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