AFT on Bill Gates’ Speech on His Evolving Education Efforts
WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on Bill Gates’ speech today to the Council of the Great City Schools, titled “Our Education Efforts are Evolving”:
“I am glad that as the nation is shifting from the fixation on testing, test-based teacher evaluations and shuttering rather than fixing public schools and other top-down, punitive measures of the No Child Left Behind era to one of creating safe and welcoming public schools where children can thrive, Bill and Melinda Gates also are evolving in their thinking. It’s encouraging that Bill Gates made clear he will not abandon public education and will learn from the educational progress that has been made in districts that have focused on children’s well-being, powerful learning, collaboration and building teacher capacity.
“A new approach that sets its sights on the school, not the corporate boardroom as the center of educational improvement, and providing support to schools as they undertake that work is a step in the right direction.
“The focus on locally generated solutions, using thoughtful reflection of what works, is a positive development and a welcome shift from the prescriptive mandates of the last decade and a half. The use of evidence-based interventions to improve student achievement, especially for those most in need, is important. And as I have learned from hundreds of school visits each year, Gates also recognizes that teachers need real curriculum support and professional development to build on the standards.
“The challenge now is turning these strategies into sustainable, scalable programs that will reflect the voices of educators, parents, school leaders and community members as we work to transform classrooms, schools and learning.”
Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten on President Trump’s Plan
To End Essential Healthcare Subsidies
WASHINGTON— President Trump announced last night that he will end subsidies to health insurance companies that help 7 million low-income Americans pay out-of-pocket costs. Earlier in the day, he signed an executive order to overhaul federal health regulations that will result in fewer protections for the most vulnerable Americans and will encourage the creation of health insurance plans that provide fewer benefits and fewer protections.
AFT President Randi Weingarten released the following statement:
“President Trump’s one-two punch yesterday targeting the financial underpinning of the Affordable Care Act is designed to gut the ACA. And his proposed replacement? Empty words. For example, if the president believed that making insurance available across state lines would make it more affordable, why not include it in the bipartisan work Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray have been doing in the Senate?
“While his words are empty, the president’s actions will make America sicker, poorer and worse off—for individuals who will have fewer and fewer insurance options, and for states whose budgets will now worsen as more people will be unable to afford health insurance and will revert to using emergency room medicine. Trump owns this unconscionable situation and bears responsibility for the harm it will cause.
“We support the states that will be taking legal action, and urge Congress to act to protect Americans from Trump’s reckless actions.”