Teachers See Key Role for Unions

A new report from Education Sector makes clear that America's teachers—both union and potential union members—recognize the importance of unions in strengthening the teaching profession and our public schools


Many findings from the report, "Trending Toward Reform: Teachers Speak on Unions and the Future of the Profession,"(http://www.educationsector.org/issues/teachers-unions) are consistent with what AFT members have been saying for years, Weingarten says—that what teachers want most and get least are the tools, time and trust to be better teachers and help their students learn and grow.


"Teachers also believe in accountability as long as the measures are fair, they have a voice in the process, and they receive the support they need to succeed," she says."But a disturbing trend that we continue to see in surveys is teachers' sense of loss of control over teaching conditions. This is especially troubling as budget cuts have forced teachers to do more with fewer resources, as teachers are required to implement reforms without the support and tools they need to succeed, and as special interests continue to demonize teachers and dictate what happens in the classroom. America's teachers spend every day with our children and know what students need to succeed. Teachers need and deserve a voice in decisions that impact their students and their classrooms.

"The report also makes clear that both new and veteran teachers believe unions can play a key role in education reform and ensuring teacher quality—a responsibility the AFT takes seriously. AFT affiliates are working in collaboration with school districts across the country on reforms that will help our children learn and grow. And they are implementing evaluation systems that are fair and transparent, while also focusing on ensuring quality and continuous professional development. For example, in the ABC Unified School District in California, the district and union consulted on every aspect of teaching and learning to implement changes in curriculum, developed an innovative program to mentor new teachers, and used intervention strategies to help struggling students."

AFT press release-July 2012

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