Topic: Membership

Doubling Student-Loan Rates, Hindering College Access: Have Your Say

College students are graduating in a rising sea of debt, with interest rates for federal student loans set to double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on July 1 if no action is taken by Congress. The effect will be felt beyond current students and those about to enter college. It also will hurt families struggling to find a way to...

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Fair Work for Fair Pay: Aldine AFT Wins Advocacy Award

Congratulations to Aldine AFT for winning the national AFT Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Union Workplace Advocacy Award. Our affiliate for Aldine ISD in the Houston area was presented the honor at the AFT PSRP Conference in Washington, D.C., on April 22, for its "Fair Work for Fair Pay" campaign. The campaign highlighted the story of Gloria Zavala, a custodian...

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Last Chance to Vote on Everyday Heroes

Voting ends this Sunday (April 29) at midnight for the 2012 AFT Everyday Heroes. The semifinalists were chosen from hundreds of AFT members who were nominated because they make a difference every day in the lives of their students or patients, or in the community at large. Semifinalists for the award have been chosen from each AFT division–representing teachers, paraprofessionals...

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Stand 4 Change and Against Bullying Friday at Noon

On May 4, you can take a stand against bullying by participating in the Stand 4 Change Day. Stand4change.org is asking educators and students to stand together at noon on Friday for five minutes to recognize the problem of bullying and pledge to stop it. As AFT President Randi Weingarten noted this week: "If all students, teachers and other educators...

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Houston ISD Bus Drivers Demand Action for Discipline, Safety

Discipline and safety problems on school buses are receiving new attention from the Houston ISD school administration, thanks to an effort to publicize those problems today by members of the Houston Educational Support Personnel Union (one of two Texas AFT affiliates in Houston ISD). On Tuesday, April 10, dozens of HESP members who drive HISD school buses gathered at district...

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Texas AFT Member Nominated for “Everyday Hero” Award

Each year, AFT recognizes with an “Everyday Hero” award members who inspire us all to make a difference in our chosen fields and in our communities. Semifinalists for the award have been chosen from each AFT division--representing teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher-education staff and faculty, health-care professionals, public employees and retirees—and you can cast your vote online for each...

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Keeping You Informed—Education Policy, Politics, Professional Issues

We want to make sure you know about some high-quality publications from the American Federation of Teachers that will keep you on the cutting edge of educational policy, politics, and professional issues. You’ll find access to the e-version of all of them at your fingertips, at http://www.aft.org/newspubs/. AFT’s flagship quarterly professional journal for pre-K/12 education is American Educator.  The Spring...

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Green Schools

Texas AFT was among the American Federation of Teachers affiliates from across the nation represented last week at the second annual Green Schools Conference in Denver. Attendees included Karrie Washenfelder, president of our Fort Bend Employee Federation affiliate in Fort Bend ISD, who has taken a leading role in promoting green-schools initiatives within Texas AFT. (Thanks are due to AFT...

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Fixing the Fixation on Testing

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten’s recently published New York Times column on testing mania deserves a wide audience. Here are extensive excerpts: “President Obama got high marks from teachers and parents when he said in his recent State of the Union address that schools should stop teaching to the test and instead give teachers latitude to teach with...

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President’s Proposed Education Budget Assessed

First of all, the big picture looks good. For example, the president proposes substantial funding to save and create jobs for education employees, to help make higher education affordable, and to support community colleges’ efforts to prepare students for careers. The down side:  proposed competitive grants for universities that would inject flawed Race to the Top efficiency metrics into higher...

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From Cradle to Grade: Getting Education Right from the Start

The latest issue of American Teacher, the magazine of the American Federation of Teachers, outlines the results of an important new AFT study that looks at effective transitions from pre-kindergarten through third grade. “Right from the Start,” a study funded through the Pew Charitable Trusts, highlights field-tested measures to build effective collaboration between the pre-K and elementary communities. “Collaborative, thoughtful...

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Enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act—Aldine AFT Scores a Big Win

Aldine ISD, one of the largest suburban school districts in the Houston area and in the state as a whole, was the scene of a big win for on-the-job fairness last month. When veteran custodian Gloria Zavala reported that she was being required to work overtime without additional pay at her newly assigned school, Aldine AFT filed an associational grievance...

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