082817 roundtable Murphy

Justin Serfozo, Garfield Federation of Teachers

It’s not exactly being played as frequently as the song of the summer, “Despacito,” but the lyrics and vocal delivery of the Beatles’ 1965 No. 1 single “We Can Work It Out” seem to perfectly capture the mixed emotions many educators are experiencing these days.

I was listening to the song as I drove through the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark on my way to an AFT roundtable discussion on improving educational policies in New Jersey. When Paul McCartney sang, “We can work it out” in the song’s chorus, my car speakers amplified the optimism. The good vibes continued as I took my seat on a panel that included Phil Murphy, a Democratic candidate in New Jersey’s 2017 gubernatorial election; Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, a candidate for lieutenant governor; AFT President Randi Weingarten; AFT New Jersey President Donna Chiera; and 16 educators, all fellow AFT members from around the state.


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