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 leaders of two labor organizations representing healthcare professionals announced on Feb. 14 that they have approved an affiliation agreement that will bring 34,000 registered nurses into the AFT, the largest union of professionals in the AFL-CIO.
Gun violence is a tragic, pervasive part of American life. Assassins’ bullets have felled presidents and national icons. Americans are 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than residents of other developed countries. Even those who had grown numb to the everyday carnage were shaken last month by the unthinkable murder of the most innocent of innocents—young children in their classrooms. In the weeks since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., more than 900 people in the United States have died from gun violence. This must end. 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.
"Raising the Bar—Aligning and Elevating Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession," issued by the AFT Teacher Preparation Task Force, urges a move toward a systemic approach to preparing teachers and a more rigorous threshold to ensure that every teacher is ready to teach. The report says that all future teachers should be required to meet a universal and rigorous bar that gauges mastery of subject-matter knowledge, much like the bar exam lawyers must take before they can enter the legal profession.