AFT and APRI Join Forces to Get Out the Vote During “Our Vote, Our Victory” Rally and March in Miami Florida

MIAMI, FL — National education leaders, including the presidents of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, joined Miami community members in a Souls to the Polls rally on Sunday, urging voters to reject Governor Rick Scott’s focus on standardized testing.

“When you have a current governor who has shown us how to do it all wrong… until you’re basically distilling it to what will fit on a standardized test and you’re judging these whole children by a number on a cut score on a test and that’s all they get, especially if they’re the poorest kids in the community…” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García told ThinkProgress. “We gave it a chance. And it was a disaster for public education.”

AFT President Randi Weingarten also spoke at the “Our Vote, Our Victory” rally following the Souls to the Polls march organized by the A. Philip Randolph Institute. She told ThinkProgress that although most of the educators present are hoping for a new governor, the rally is really a nonpartisan get out the vote effort.

Among the rally participants were many members of the United Teachers of Dade, including kindergarten teacher Sharlee Peabody who told ThinkProgress the issues she cares most about are teacher raises, having enough materials for her students and making sure that teachers aren’t burnt out from overtesting. “We’re under the gun right now,” Peabody said. “If one person stays in office, we’ll continue being attacked. But if Crist is elected, we’ll have a seat at the table.”

SharAFT Souls to the Pollslee Peabody

CREDIT: ThinkProgress/ Kira Lerner

- Kira Lerner