At the AFT convention last week in Seattle, I outlined a vision to save public education. Our vision is:
- That every neighborhood school should be an excellent school that all families know they can count on, every year, for all of their children.
- To build on what works, and replicate it for all kids, in all schools, in all communities.
- Of schools where good teachers can work together to meet each child’s individual needs, where students develop their unique talents through a well-rounded curriculum, where all children have the support they need to reach their full potential.
- For teachers to get the necessary support to constantly improve, in an environment in which students have what they need to succeed.
That’s in sharp contract to the vision of what I call the blame the teacher” crowd, which has made some inroads among politicians and the mainstream media. Their proposed solutions inevitably come down to affixing blame – usually on teachers – rather than fixing schools.
Despite some signs that the economy is recovering, education funding is being slashed, the threat of massive teacher layoffs is real, and the need for Congressional action is urgent.