The countdown has begun for the AFT convention that opens in Chicago Friday with a keynote speech from outgoing President Ed McElroy. Delegates are also expected to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who is scheduled to speak to the 3,000 delegates via live satellite feed Sunday. Hillary Clinton, the union’s first choice for president before she pulled out of the race, plans to be there in person Saturday.
This is a historic year for the AFT. It is expected to elect an all-woman executive leadership with Randi Weingarten as president, Antonia Cortese as secretary-treasurer, and Lorretta Johnson as executive vice president. It’s a first for a national teachers’ union. Am I the only one wondering why it took so long when nearly 75 percent of teachers are women?
The union will also push this year for peer assistance and review, pioneered by its Toledo local way back in the 1980s but not adopted widely among other affiliates with a few exceptions.
Ed Week will be at the convention starting Friday to bring you coverage of the goings-on. Watch this space.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NEA & AFT: Live From the Conventions blog.