AFT Calling for a National Day of Action on December 9th to Support Public Education!

Dear Commons Community,

The American Federation of Teachers union is calling for a “national day of action” on December 9th against the education reform policies that promote school closings, privatization,  and corporate interests.  As described at the AFT website:

Over the last year, community groups and teachers unions have taken unprecedented steps to forge an alliance to work together to reclaim the promise of public education as our nation’s gateway to democracy and racial and economic justice. The National Day of Action on Dec. 9 is our next step. Teachers, parents, students and communities have been facing unprecedented attacks on their public schools, jobs and civil rights. These attacks raise fundamental questions: Will public education continue as a truly public institution that aspires to provide all students with an equal opportunity to learn? Will the labor movement survive as a strong voice for economic justice? Teachers unions and community groups organizing for educational justice are uniquely situated to help lead the fight for the future direction of our country. But neither the union nor the community can win the battle alone. The promise lies in uniting as genuine partners to develop and organize around a shared vision for improving our schools and creating a more equitable society. The National Day of Action builds upon the alliances that have been established over the last few years among union, community, youth and parent groups on a range of educational and social justice campaigns. Examples of joint work include:

  • Fighting back against school closings that adversely affect students of color and their communities;
  • Community support of the teachers’ strike in Chicago;
  • Organizing against the excessive use of standardized testing;
  • Organizing to ensure there are just laws to protect the rights of immigrants; and
  • Organizing community-union town hall meetings in cities focused on developing grass-roots solutions for our struggling schools, involving more than 3,000 people and 60 community organizations.

Most recently, more than 100 community groups and teachers unions developed and endorsed a statement that articulates those principles, The Principles that Unite Us, our common vision for public education—a vision distinct from a corporate agenda that rests on a system of winners and losers. Now, these partners are transforming the principles into the seeds of a national movement.

It begins on Dec. 9 with our National Day of Action to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education: Our Schools, Our Solutions. We will be saying YES to “The Principles that Unite Us,” and NO to the corporate agenda for our schools; YES to great neighborhood public schools for all students, and NO to privatization, school closings and over-testing of students.



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