Randi Weingarten
Randi Weingarten

Education wars — two words that should never be strung together — are far too common in the United States. The primary casualties of such conflicts, as well as of mounting education cuts and misguided “reforms,” are our students. The good news is that across the country, in places big and small, America’s teachers are leading a movement away from finger-pointing and polarization and toward advancing solutions that help our students and our public schools succeed and our communities thrive.

From overcoming the effects of poverty on children’s education to helping teachers master the instructional shifts required by ambitious new academic standards, some of the country’s most pressing challenges are being met with what I call “solution-driven unionism.”

Solution-driven unionism is rooted in solving problems, not winning arguments. AFT affiliates are pursuing this approach, and we are encouraging many more to follow suit. We know that this tough climate — marked by increasing poverty, continuing budget cuts, and a recession-fueled resurgence in attacks on unions and public services — can’t stop us from having a proactive quality education agenda. To the contrary — while we will continue to fight for the resources children need, we must also devise innovative, creative and new approaches to help all children succeed.


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