The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) quietly added new resolutions for 2023 on their website, and none of them are related to improving public education. According to the AFT, the resolutions address “a wide range of issues that affect members in our different membership constituencies” and other “national and international issues of importance to the union and to our vision for the country.” Unsurprisingly, issues like learning loss, plummeting nationwide academic achievement scores, chronic absenteeism, and the negative consequences of mandated school enrollment based on income and zip code are not priorities.

In recent years, the majority of the AFT’s resolutions supported racial justice and critical race theory in public education. Past resolutions also focused on promoting and advancing trans-queer ideology, foreign affairs, immigration policy, climate alarmism, and health care. Over the past 10 years, AFT’s track record has shown that improving education is not a priority, and 2023 is no exception. 

The first resolution “Condemns a Record-Breaking Year of Anti-LGBTQ+ Policies.” The AFT strongly reaffirms its support of LGBTQ people, especially trans-identified people. In the wake of legislation that protects vulnerable young people from gender ideology and medical transitions, the AFT resolves to “vigorously defend school, healthcare, and public employee workers who support LGBTQ+ youth…and those who teach about their existence and history.” The AFT will also “advocate for and support LGBTQ+-inclusive schools.” This would include shared school facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms. This resolution does nothing to improve education, but it ensures that LGBTQ people, specifically trans-identified people, are prioritized, while the majority of students are potentially endangered and neglected for the sake of “inclusive” spaces. 

Another resolution officially endorses Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the 2024 Democratic Presidential Primary. So far, the Biden administration has gutted the federal charter school program, undermined national and state test scores, harmed low-income students with the misleading student loan forgiveness program, and called parents domestic terrorists. The AFT worked closely with the Biden administration and the CDC during the pandemic; a House subcommittee discovered that union officials wrote key portions of the school reopening plan. The AFT wields tremendous influence over the Biden administration, and will continue to work politically to maintain their power. 

Resolution three discusses the growing impact of social media and artificial intelligence (AI) on “workplaces, healthcare, and education” (in that order). Instead of discussing how AI would be implemented in schools or how it might affect education, the AFT is more concerned with equity; they demand that AI “be accessible to all and not perpetuate disparities,” and they emphasize the need for “equity, transparency, and inclusivity in the use of these technologies.” 

The next AFT resolution “Supports Healthcare Workers and Patients Impacted by Abortion Bans.” The AFT resolves to “ensure ongoing access to medication abortion throughout the nation by working with lawmakers, candidates, advocacy groups, and activists to support legislative efforts and executive actions at the state and federal levels.” Whatever position one might take on abortion, it is clear that this resolution has nothing to do with education. For a union that is supposed to represent teachers, it more often spotlights healthcare workers and staff in a field outside of education. 

The last resolution condemns Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, for war crimes in Ukraine. The AFT says they “will call on the Biden administration and Congress to prioritize care and education for children in U.S. foreign assistance … and support AFT state federations and locals and affiliates to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.” Because the union would rather seek monsters abroad, it neglects to deal with a weak and declining public education system at home. 

The AFT is a powerful political organization whose mission is to advance an agenda, not education. Their resolutions are increasingly focused on changing the country, and the world, but it overlooks the students, teachers, and issues that are in urgent need of attention.