Tuesday, August 2, 2016
AFT delegates reserved time to hear from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), one of the union's most effective partners in Congress on issues that range from federal action on workplace violence to securing the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new education law that AFT President Randi Weingarten called a historic opportunity to "stop fixation on testing and start fixation on the whole child." Scott was a "hero" in the fight to move ESSA through committee in a Republican-controlled House, Weingarten told delegates; and Scott, in turn, said the victory depended on the active engagement of the AFT and our members throughout the legislative process. That type of involvement will be just as essential as the make-or-break work of ESSA implementation continues at the state and local levels. "We worked to make sure your priorities were reflected" in the new law, Scott told delegates. Done right, ESSA "will empower all students of all backgrounds for college and career ... but this won't happen without your involvement."