American Federation of Teachers

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American Federation of Teachers

(AFT), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. It was formed (1916) out of the belief that the organizing of teachers should follow the model of a labor union, rather than that of a professional association. From the 1960s to the late 1990s the AFT grew from 55,000 to 907,000 members. The union promotes collective bargaining for teachers and other educational employees; conducts research on teacher stress, special education, and other education-related issues; and lobbies for the passage of legislation of importance to education. The union has also reflected an increasing willingness on the part of American teachers to use militant labor union tactics, including strikes and the threat of strikes, in contract negotiations. In 1998 the leadership of AFT and the National Education AssociationNational Education Association
(NEA), organization of professional educators in the United States, with almost 2.5 million members. The NEA was founded (1850) as the National Teachers Association, changed its name in 1857, and was chartered by Congress in 1906.
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 (NEA) supported a merger of the two groups, but delegates to the NEA's annual meeting rejected the proposal.


See R. J. Braun, Teachers and Power (1972); M. Berube, Teacher Politics (1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
The event, sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers and NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, is free and open to the public.
Likewise, many of the ideas we regard today as education reform's conventional wisdom--linked standards and assessments, consequences for poor performance, testing new teachers, paying some teachers more than others, and charter schools--were given prominent public voice by a teacher union leader, the late Albert Shanker of the American Federation of Teachers.
The college's part-time faculty - or adjuncts - voted 208-41 to align their fledgling Part-Time Faculty United group with the American Federation of Teachers, which would act as their exclusive bargaining agent in contract negotiations next year.
And Al Shanker, the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, named Rustin when asked in 1993 if he had any heroes: "He had the guts to say what he felt was right, no matter how unpopular it was"
Many of our efforts have actually saved money for the school district," she added, "including data analysis training coordinated through the American Federation of Teachers over the last three years for teachers, principals and staff.
Instead of suing like it's counterpart NEA, the American Federation of Teachers has launched an intense campaign aimed at fixing what it considers unfair and unworkable aspects of the No Child Left Behind act.
In the agreement with the American Federation of Teachers, the Santa Clarita Community College District - which governs the Valencia campus - agreed to withdraw further court challenges that could delay elections and remain neutral in all organizing proceedings.
However, the nation may be undervaluing tomorrow's teachers, argues Peter Temin, if we seek the high-caliber workforce of K-12 professionals that the late Albert Shanker envisioned during his decades as president of the American Federation of Teachers (see Richard Kahlenberg's thoughtful retrospective on Shanker's contributions to American education).
Beacon Academies, a strategic partner of KinderCare, warns that the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association could "adversely impact" the company.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will discuss plans for the upcoming March on Washington and the local mobilization across our nation.
This sentiment is echoed by the Alliance for Excellent Education, American Federation of Teachers, Business Roundtable, Teach for America and many others.

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