Subject: Inside AFT--July 25
UFT moves to intervene in due process caseThe AFT supports United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew's motion to intervene in a New York legal case on due process and tenure. "The United Federation of Teachers has a long history of advocating for and intervening on behalf of children and their parents to ensure that all of New York's children have a high-quality public education—from the More Effective Schools Program to the Chancellor's District and the new contract the UFT recently negotiated with the city of New York," AFT President Randi Weingarten says. "The AFT supports the UFT's request to intervene in the legal case on due process and tenure, and we cheer its decision to keep the union's focus on attracting, retaining and supporting well-prepared and qualified teachers for all our students, and on developing safe, welcoming, collaborative school environments where educators have the resources, support and time to help their students learn and apply a wide range of knowledge."
Green Ribbon Schools celebrated for sustainabilityAmong the 48 institutions recently named 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are eight schools or districts where AFT members work hard to maintain the outstanding programs that move us all toward a greener, more environmentally sustainable world. The designation, created with support from the AFT, the National Education Association, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Center for Green Schools and more, is intended to establish more incentives for sustainability in schools and school districts. The named schools or districts must meet specific criteria in each of three different categories: environmental impact, improving health and wellness, and teaching sustainability. Their many award-winning features include edible gardens, wildlife habitats, classroom recycling and environmentally driven curricula. "It is absolutely true that where you learn matters," said Mary Cathryn Ricker, AFT executive vice president, at a reception for award recipients and supporters. "We've come a long way from a voice in the wilderness to the third year of recognizing Green Ribbon Schools."
In case you didn't see our daily convention email updates, here's what you missed:This video offers a great overview of the speakers, debates and other convention events.
The convention 2014 page includes daily summaries for July 11-15, videos, press releases and news stories.And don't miss AFT President Randi Weingarten's Huffington Post column, "Tuning into Teachers," about why thousands of AFT members would spend their time inside a convention hall speaking up forcefully and passionately about economic and social justice, education, and professional issues on which they are often denied a voice.
Order brings protections to LGBTQ employeesAn executive order issued July 21 by President Obama will protect LGBTQ employees of the federal government and federal contractors from employment discrimination. "For years—decades even—Congress has been stymied in partisan politics, unable or unwilling to do the right thing and pass nondiscrimination legislation for gay and transgender workers," AFT President Randi Weingarten says. "President Obama has brought the LGBTQ community one step closer to real equality. The executive order—especially in omitting a general religious exemption—will ensure that, at the very least, gay and transgender federal contract workers are protected from on-the-job discrimination."
Innovation Fund seeks 'teachers leading on standards'In her convention keynote address, President Randi Weingarten announced that the AFT Innovation Fund will provide grants for teachers to become more involved in standards. "Many members have told me they embrace standards as a critical ingredient in aligning instruction to what students need to know and be able to do, but believe the Common Core—or aspects of it—need reform," she said. Do you want to critique standards and the research behind them? How about offering feedback on the implementation of standards in your state or community? Or do you want to write new standards in a particular grade or subject? Then you should look into applying for an Innovation Fund grant. Applications are due Sept. 30, 2014.
AFT hails Workforce Innovation and Opportunity ActThe bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that President Obama signed on July 22 extends the ladder of opportunity to middle-class Americans by providing the guidance, skills and training needed to compete for good 21st-century jobs, AFT President Randi Weingarten says. "Career and technical education programs provide incredibly important pathways to success," she says. "This law will help young people, the disabled, the long-term unemployed and those barely getting by on hourly wages to become economically self-sufficient. The workforce law provides a blueprint for the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Act, which has been a lifeline for job training opportunities and focuses on career and technical education programs and collaborative partnerships among employers, communities, schools and labor. We hope that as Congress works on the Perkins reauthorization, it provides much-needed funding for guidance counselors, who can help students explore career options as they contemplate their futures."
Where & When
AFT secretary-treasurer Lorretta Johnson will attend the AFL-CIO executive committee and executive council meetings in Washington, D.C., July 28-31. July 25, 2014
In this issue:
Most of the discussion around teacher pay in the United States has focused on entry-level salaries. But new research from the Center for American Progress reveals "deeply troubling" findings when it comes to teachers further into their careers. The bottom line, the report says, is that mid- and late-career teachers are not earning what they deserve, nor are they able to earn salaries that can support a middle-class standard of living.