School visits highlight community partnerships, Share My Lesson
AFT PRESIDENT Randi Weingarten went back to school at the end of August with visits to schools and members in Cleveland and Berea, Ohio, and Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, N.M. In both states, she saw examples of how local unions and communities are working together on behalf of schools and students. The AFT president also met with a group of members and leaders in New York state. And she heard glowing reviews from members who are using the AFTs new Share My Lesson website for educators.
In Ohio, Weingarten met with about 20 community activists, including faith leaders and representatives of citywide coalitions, and saw examples of local unions partnering with their communities to improve education.
In Ohio, the Rev. Timothy Eppinger, pastor of God's Tabernacle of Faith Church in Warrensville Heights, described a coalition that has launched a long-term approach to career pathways in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The coalition has rounded up 100 businesses, from the Cleveland Clinic to law firms, and set up paths to college in which students can shadow professionals on the job, work at summer internships, get mentoring and earn scholarships.
The AFT president also visited Roehm Middle School in Berea where she dropped in on several classrooms, including that of eighth-grade math teacher Brooke Schlather, who was excited about the union's Share My Lesson initiative, a global network of educators who share strategies online. "I spend so much time looking for materials online," Schlather said. "This will help."
Solution-driven unionism in action
Weingarten has spent a lot of time talking about "solution-driven unionism" since she first discussed the concept …