In her most recent column appearing in the New York Times, “A Great Opportunity for the Land of Opportunity,” AFT President Randi Weingarten calls for the swift passage of commonsense, compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform. “Whether it’s the realization that a nation made great by immigrants has a moral imperative to live up to our American values of democracy and opportunity, or because it’s sound economic policy, or because it’s just the right thing to do for hardworking families,” she says, “reforming our immigration system makes sense.” Read Weingarten's column.
The AFT is mourning the deaths of 26 children and educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and has begun transforming our grief into comfort and support for the community, as well as advocating for saner national policies on guns and mental health services.
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.
Just three days into the lame-duck Congress, every Republican in the U.S. Senate voted to prevent the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182) from coming to the floor. The final 58-41 vote on Nov. 17 fell two votes short of the 60 needed to break the Republican-imposed logjam. The House of Representatives passed the bill last year. If enacted, the act would help close the wage gap between women and men.
As children across the United States return to the familiar sounds of school bells and classrooms, 72 million children in the developing world remain in fields, mines and sweatshops. Many of these children have never been inside a classroom, and without innovative leadership, they never will be.
There is a lot of chatter about the upcoming documentary film "Waiting for 'Superman'," which will be released in local theaters in the coming weeks. It tells the moving stories of five children and their families as they seek to find better schools.Despite the film's good intentions, "Waiting for 'Superman' " misses what could have been a unique opportunity to address the full and accurate story of public schools.
In conjunction with Child Health Day, the AFT has unveiled a new Web page that focuses on the vital link between children's health and their academic success. As teacher Ronnie Moshi says on the page, "When my students come to class with health, social or mental issues such as homelessness, hunger, toothaches, they are often not able to pay attention or participate in a meaningful way."
On Dec. 1, the unemployment insurance program covering 2 million Americans will end. If Congress fails to act before then to extend the program, these struggling Americans will be left with no income. Worse yet, over the next five months, the total could rise to nearly 6 million unemployed Americans, further slowing our recovering economy and, in turn, resulting in more job loss.