October 4, 2011
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On World Teachers' Day
On Wednesday, Oct. 5, educators around the globe are celebrating World Teachers' Day, designated by UNESCO and Education International to recognize the profession.
WASHINGTON—America's educators, like those throughout the world, strive every day to make a difference for our children despite widespread economic distress and deep budget cuts. They are on the frontlines of our collective challenge to prepare all of our kids, not just some, for the knowledge economy. Yet many of America's public schools are being defunded and destabilized at the same time the demand for an excellent education has never been greater.
If we are to provide today's students with the robust education they need for the 21st-century knowledge economy, we can't shortchange them with fewer teachers, larger class sizes, a narrowed curriculum and diminished learning opportunities.
The AFT is committed to advancing an agenda that lifts disadvantaged children, fights for workers' voice and basic fairness in the workplace, promotes educational opportunity and a quality education for all children, and ensures public services are adequately funded and are delivered as efficiently as possible.
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The AFT represents 1.5 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.