American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten traveled to Baltimore and was greeted by Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) President Marietta English and AFT Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Lorretta Johnson and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Sonia Santelises. The group met and discussed the effective partnerships between the labor union in Baltimore and the school district. President Weingarten hopes to use Baltimore as a model for other labor/management relations.
Following a productive meeting, they toured the Baltimore Design School. The tour was led by Principal Zahara Valentine. The delegation met with teachers, counselors and students. A few of the classrooms visited were graphic design, photography and fashion design. Teachers explained to the group how their students use hands-on application to learn and master their crafts. Some students even explained what their interests are, and how the school nurtures and fosters those interests.
President Weingarten was impressed with what she saw and Dr. Johnson stressed there are schools all over the city doing unique, innovate work to introduce students to a wide range of career fields, with career practitioners as their teachers.