U.S. Department of Education (DOE)

Standing Up to Unprecedented Threats to Schools

By choosing billionaire political donor Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), President-elect Donald Trump has shown he is serious about decimating our nation's public schools. Congress has scheduled her nomination hearing for next Wednesday, adding urgency to the defense of our shared mission of a high-quality learning experience for all students. Members are encouraged to sign and share an open letter demanding the secretary of education and every elected official respect and uphold this vision.
 
Click here to add your name to the letter.
 

New Federal Testing Proposals: Praise, Caution & Action

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) earlier this month proposed rules regarding student testing under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation's new law governing public education. Included in the July 7 announcement were plans for a pilot program that states will likely be able to apply for in the coming school year. The news drew both caution and praise from union leaders -- along with a renewed call to action ensuring that the law's promise as a "reset" of federal education policy continues.
 

Reigning-In Predatory For-Profit Colleges

Leading the charge to clean up exploitative policies and practices hurting students in higher education — and costing all taxpayers — is a new report released last week by our national union. Among highlights are the 2014 collapse of Corinthian Colleges as both an example and a call to action for increased oversight of the growing for-profit higher education "industry."
 
Click here for the full report.
 

Student Debt Clinics Save Borrowers Thousands

The crisis of student debt is holding back millions of Americans, and our union is taking it on not only on a policy level, but one borrower at a time. AFT has begun holding student debt workshops to help individuals drop hundreds of dollars from their monthly loan payments and even qualify for loan forgiveness.
 

Summit Gives Full Context to Challenge of Teacher Diversity

Key public education stakeholders earlier this month convened to address efforts to attract, prepare and retain a teaching workforce that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of our nation's students. The May 6 summit in Washington, D.C. drew participation from a full spectrum of organizations and individuals grappling with the issue and was co-sponsored by our national union.
 

Re-imagining High School for the 21st Century

The administration of President Barack Obama last week convened a first-ever “Summit on Next Generation High Schools,” bringing educators, administrators, policymakers and other stakeholders together from across the nation. Our AFT Connecticut president was among the union leaders to attend the event, which was designed to highlight best practices in recent efforts to prepare students for post-graduation success.
 
Click here for a White House fact sheet on the summit.
 

Survey Shows Need for National Focus on Workplace Stress

The results of a new AFT survey on working conditions and pressures facing education professionals across the country provide vital information about sources of stress on the job. They demonstrate the need for a scientific study on how work affects the health and well-being of teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff -- and we're mobilizing union members to urge the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to take on this task.
 
Click here to ask the DOE to conduct this research.
 

Bipartisan ESEA Bill: A Step Forward

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization proposal announced this week shows that, even in the current climate, it's possible to find common ground by listening to teachers, parents and other voices in education. U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) -- the chair and the ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee -- on Tuesday unveiled a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the law, known in its current form as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
 
Click here for a bill summary from the HELP Committee.
 

Teachers Union Leaders Team Up on ESEA

The presidents of the nation's two largest teachers unions last week offered a shared vision for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) at a Washington, D.C., meeting with state policy chiefs. A day later they reiterated their commitment in a joint keynote address to a nationwide audience of educators participating in Share My Lesson's third annual virtual conference.
 
Click here to watch the joint keynote presentation.
 

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act at 50

U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Arne Duncan's speech yesterday on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) included some promising elements -- as well as others that raise concerns. AFT last week released policy priorities on the law urging an end to a system of "test-and-punish" and a new "support-and-improve" approach for America's students, education professionals and schools.
 
Click here for AFT's priorities for ESEA reauthorization.
 
Syndicate content