Like the NEA, the American Federation of Teachers has become involved in a number of reform activities. Two of its projects involve work with specific school districts across the country. The Leadership for Reform project links seven school districts with more than 20 local educational experts. This network supports the schools as they restructure. And the Urban District Assessment Consortium is a three-year cooperative effort with Boston College’s Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy to help urban school districts develop and implement alternative assessments.
The AFT is also getting involved in reforming the teacher education process. Its Professional Practice Schools program is a network of public schools working closely with universities to provide a different kind of training for preservice teachers and the employed teachers at the school.
Finally, on an ongoing basis, the Educational Research and Dissemination program attempts to bridge the gap between research and practice. Most studies, even if valuable, are lengthy, technical, and not widely available. AFT’s dissemination program makes sure that the best research is made relevant and useful to teachers in over 500 districts through a collegial process.
A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 1992 edition of Teacher as AFT Projects