Public education is under assault, and decades of top-down edicts, mass school closures, privatization, and test fixation with sanctions instead of support haven't moved the needle in the right direction.
It's time to reclaim the promise of public education—not as it is today or as it was in the past, but as it can be—to fulfill our collective obligation to help all children succeed. Together, we will ensure that all children have the opportunity to dream their dreams and achieve them. We will put the public back into public education. We will help our public schools become centers of their communities, secure a voice and respect for those closest to the classroom, and fulfill public education’s purpose as a propeller of our economy, an anchor of democracy and a gateway to racial, social and economic justice.
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Our visions for reclaiming the promise:
- High-quality public education for all children that nurtures a joy of teaching and learning. Read more
- Access to early childhood care and education for all families, including the supports they need. Read more
- Access to affordable and excellent higher education. Read more
- The resources and staffing our hospitals and medical centers need to provide world-class patient care. Read more
- Properly funded and dependable public services and programs that meet the needs of our communities. Read more
- Safeguarding the retirement security for all working women and men. Read more
- U.S. Education: A Global Perspective. Background on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, due out Dec. 3.
- Download a Reclaiming the Promise of public education flier in English and Spanish.
- National survey of parents shows overwhelming support for the vision of reclaiming the promise of public education.
- AFT report on the high cost of testing shows how kids are losing out on receiving a full, high-quality education because of pervasive test preparation and testing.
- The AFT executive council unanimously passed the Reclaiming the Promise for Public Education resolution.
News and Press
Read how reclaiming the promise is resonating in our communities.
- AFT-WV President Christine Campbell calls on all West Virginians to come together to reclaim the promise of a high-quality education for all children in her state.
- If you had $50,000 or more to invest in the privatization of public education, you would have been welcome at a recent meeting in Philadelphia of self-described school reformers. But if you're an educator or parent interested in strengthening public education, you'd be out of luck. Read more in Randi Weingarten's most recent column.
- In the U.S. Virgin Islands, reclaiming the promise was the centerpiece of the TEACH Conference.
- Overview of attacks, our vision and solutions to reclaim the promise of public education
Short version (2 min.) | Long version (5 min.)
- At the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Randi Weingarten and Chicago student Asean Johnson call on us all to reclaim the promise
- AFT President Randi Weingarten's "Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education" speech at the 2013 AFT TEACH Conference
Join the conversation
In a joint effort between the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute, the Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education conversation series is designed to engender lively and informative conversations on important educational issues.
We deliberately invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the AFT and the Shanker Institute.
What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other.
Groups that are reclaiming the promise
- On October 6th, over 100 groups showed their commitment to reclaiming the promise of public schools by signing on to "The Principles that Unite Us," which will bring together our educational and social justice work.
- At the AFL-CIO Convention, unionists unanimously passed the Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education resolution. See union leaders speak passionately in this video about our collective obligation to ensuring the success of our children.
- The UAW showed its commitment to Public Education by asking its members to join us and pledge to Reclaim the Promise.
- Educational International launched "UNITE for Education—Better Quality Education for a Better World" to reclaim the promise of public education for all the world's children.
Day of Action
Save the date. The National Day of Action to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education is coming Dec 9. For more information, contact email@example.com.