American Federation of Teachers president makes a stop at a New Haven high school
The head of a national teachers union visited Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven Wednesday to highlight the work educators are doing in public schools across the state.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten toured the school, viewing career pathway programs offered to students as alternatives to college. EMT certification, culinary arts, and teacher pathway programs are all offered at the school.
“Most of us learn by seeing something, by touching something, by feeling something, by being able to experience it,” Weingarten said.
Weingarten was joined by other education leaders, including Wilbur Cross Principal Matt Brown, New Haven Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Madeline Negrón and New Haven Federation of Teachers President Leslie Blatteau.
Brown highlighted Wilbur Cross’ newest feature for students, a teacher pathway program that he said began because of a growing statewide teacher shortage.
“There’s an absolutely, positively, critical need for filling teacher slots, particularly in our urban schools, and getting them to commit to a viable pathway as an educational professional,” Brown said.
It's important to recruit teachers who can represent the students they serve, Brown said. Historically, there aren’t enough teachers of color in Connecticut.
Weingarten said AFT’s focus is to make sure all public schools across the country are places parents want to send their kids and where educators want to work.
“The attention to detail, the sense of possibility, that is what education is. Our vision about what public schools should be, particularly for high school students, is that there should be a lot of choices for students and families,” she said.
This means she wants to see more funding for programs nationwide to prepare students not only for college, but for careers they are interested in, she said.
This story will be updated.