American Federation of Teachers locals have partnered with districts on pioneering reform efforts, including peer review and assistance in Toledo, Ohio, and charter schools in New York City.
Now, locals working on reform plans could get financial support from the national union, which today announced the creation of a $1 million fund to support such efforts.
The announcement of the AFT Innovation Fund comes just as the national teachers’ unions have come under criticism from both Democrats and Republicans as standing in the way of reform.
In addition to the $1 million seed money, the AFT will seek more funding help from philanthropies. Randi Weingarten, the president of the AFT, called it “union-led reform that will incubate promising ideas, promote proven programs, support risk taking, and encourage shared responsibility for strengthening our public schools.”
“Our intention is to support innovations from the bottom up—and move away from the top-down corporate model,” she added.
As more and more districts attempt to impose accountability and differentiated pay plans for teachers, it is becoming clear to unions that partnering with their districts would be a much better option than having plans imposed on them.
You have to credit the AFT for being proactive here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.