May 21, 2009
Statement by Francine Lawrence,
Vice President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Global Campaign for Education's Global Action Week
Today, the Global Campaign for Education kicked off its Global Action Week with an event at the National Press Club featuring Queen Rania of Jordan. Francine Lawrence, an AFT vice president, also spoke at the event.
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers is proud to be a longtime supporter of the Global Campaign for Education. It is appropriate that this year's theme-The Big Read-focuses on literacy. Reading is the foundation for all learning. Without a solid grasp of reading, students can't do word problems in math, can't read the directions for science experiments, and ultimately can't succeed in school or in life.
Healthy economies and vibrant democracies require strong educational systems. We can't allow the current global economic downturn to reverse or slow efforts to ensure that all children around the world have universal and free access to high-quality education. Today's students-in the United States and abroad-must be able to compete in the global marketplace.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.