Most parents with children in public schools do not support recent changes in education policy, from closing low-performing schools to shifting public dollars to charter schools to private school vouchers, according to a new poll to be released Monday by the American Federation of Teachers.
The poll, conducted by Democratic polling firm Hart Research Associates, surveyed 1,000 parents this month and found that most would rather see their neighborhood schools strengthened and given more resources than have options to enroll their children elsewhere.
AFT President Randi Weingarten is expected to highlight the poll’s findings during a speech Monday at the union’s annual meeting in Washington. The AFT is the nation’s second-largest teachers union and represents school employees in most of the major urban school districts.
In the speech, Weingarten will call for a reinvestment in public schools and say that education reform hasn’t worked and isn’t what parents want. “Decades of top-down edicts, mass school closures, privatization and test fixation with sanctions, instead of support, haven’t moved the needle — not in the right direction, at least,” Weingarten says in remarks from the speech provided to The Washington Post. “You’ve heard their refrain: competition, closings, choice. Underlying that is a belief that disruption is good and stability is bad.”
The union is fighting plans by school systems to shutter schools in struggling Chicago, Philadelphia and D.C. neighborhoods. More…