School & District Management A National Roundup

AFT Head Calls for More School for Struggling Young Students

By Vaishali Honawar — July 17, 2007 1 min read

Edward J. McElroy, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, wants a longer school year and an intensive summer curriculum for struggling students in the early grades.

In his keynote speech at the union’s QUEST conference on July 12, Mr. McElroy told 2,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, and school officials that he would like to see 20 or more days added to the school year for such students.

“Yes, to do this, teachers must be paid more for more time. Yes, to do this parental involvement is key. Yes, this is going to cost money. But it needs to be done,” he said.

The summer extension would give students enriching experiences like museum visits and educational field trips, in addition to intensive instruction. The president of the 1.3 million-member union said schools need to do a better job of identifying young children from pre-K to 3rd grade who start out behind and fall further behind each year.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2007 edition of Education Week

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