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.
On Jan. 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy captured and crystallized a moment in history when he told America, "the torch has been passed to a new generation." To mark the 50th anniversary of this landmark inaugural address, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum has created a new website filled with groundbreaking multimedia that invites young visitors to explore the JFK legacy through such core themes as public service, civil rights and innovation.
AFT president Randi Weingarten on Feb. 24 proposed a new way to align teacher development and evaluation to due process for tenured teachers. Weingarten laid out a three-step process consisting of clear standards for what teachers should know and be able to do, a time-limited improvement and support plan for teachers deemed to be unsatisfactory according to the evaluation standards, and a hearing process that can take no longer than 100 days, which in many cases would be even more expedient.
In a March 28 speech sponsored by the Commonwealth Club, AFT president Randi Weingarten challenged those who have blamed public employees and their right to collectively bargain as a cause of their states' fiscal problems.
Generation Y teachers—those in their mid-30s or younger—say that to keep them in teaching, schools should be transformed into workplaces that support high-quality teaching and learning, so eager but nearly overwhelmed novices will stay in the profession and can become highly effective, according to a new report by the AFT and the American Institutes for Research.