This is a moment of reckoning for our country -- a battle for its soul and for our children's future. These two conventions last week highlighted very different visions for our country. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." That's true, but it doesn't bend on its own.
The American Federation of Teachers reached a significant milestone this week: the centennial of our founding. As I've pored over historical documents from our archives, it's clear that, from generation to generation, our union has been a vehicle to fight for positive change both in public schools and in society.
This new law can create positive change. States will now take the lead on accountability, interventions and teacher evaluation systems. While some states will mess up, we hope most will learn from the failures of NCLB and give teachers and schools the latitude and support to deeply engage students and to focus on the whole child.
In the response from our global teacher bloggers to our September question, "What was your most challenging classroom and how did you turn it around?", a common theme ran through all anecdotes -- an openness to student experience that allows for a more understanding, empathetic response to student's problems.
Randi Weingarten is the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). I talk to Randi about what we can learn from successful education models abroad, the increasing importance of teachers having robust global and cultural competence, and how the US can do a better job supporting its teachers.
Through the union, educators are raising our collective voice. Together with parents and students, educators are turning the tide. Teaching is our heart. Our students are our soul. And the union is our spine. When educators raise their voice and their power, we can reclaim the promise of public education.