IOWA CITY, Iowa—When schools across the country suddenly closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s teachers were left to determine—often with uncertain resources and supports—how to effectively teach students out of the classroom. ACT, Inc. and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) announced today that they have joined forces to help teachers navigate the rapidly changing world of distance learning.
Through the new relationship, ACT and the 1.7 million-member AFT will combine their strengths to bring effective online educational resources to America’s teachers and students.
ACT will provide teaching and learning lessons, resources and content to the AFT’s Share My Lesson platform. This AFT platform is the country’s premier digital platform where teachers can collaborate and share lesson plans, classroom strategies and other learning resources for free. The platform, developed by AFT, serves as a trusted source for teachers as they seek and develop online lesson plans for their students.
“ACT’s and AFT’s missions are closely aligned, with both organizations committed to helping students achieve success,” said ACT CEO Marten Roorda. “We each bring unique strengths to this partnership, and by working together, we know we can better help educators teach and students learn during this difficult time and beyond.”
“COVID-19 upended everything in America, with the only meaningful way the virus has been confronted being stay-at-home orders,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “As a result, educators across the country had to adapt within days to remote teaching. We are always looking to provide educators with the tools and resources they need to make student experience as engaging as possible. We are glad to be working with ACT, and while these platforms never substitute for in-person learning, they offer teachers yet another option for meeting their students’ needs and creating a space for academic, social and emotional learning.”
Initially, teachers can expect webinars and blog posts through shared ACT and AFT resources designed to help improve educational outcomes. The partnership will also feature content designed to help AFT members navigate the new online teaching and learning environment brought forth by the global pandemic.
ACT, which has launched a webinar series to support students and teachers, continues the series with an ACT-AFT jointly hosted webinar. “How Parents Can Help Stem a COVID-19 Learning Slide” will begin on Thursday, May 7 at 1 pm Eastern. Mawi Asgedom, an expert on social and emotional learning (SEL) and founder of Mawi Learning™, now a part of ACT’s learning unit, will demonstrate a number of powerful tools to help teachers, school counselors, and parents and students grow continuously. Parents will learn how to help students use those tools in both academic and personal areas and adopt a growth mindset for future success.
Individuals may register for the webinar online.
ACT SEL Curriculum and Assessment combines curriculum from Mawi Learning and assessments from ACT Tessera®. ACT SEL Curriculum and Assessment also provide AFT member teachers with easy-to-use, evidence-based SEL tools and lessons free of charge through the Share My Lesson platform.
ACT will also support AFT member teachers by providing access to powerful and standards-aligned K-12 content. This content can be accessed on the ACT website through icurio as well as ACT Academy. icurio will be available for free until June 30, 2020, and provides access to more than 360,000 curated, vetted and maintained standards-aligned resources. ACT Academy, always available without charge, provides test practice resources. These test resources are designed to help learners and teachers address the reporting categories from the ACT and PreACT tests with free videos, games, interactives, practice questions and full-length practice tests. Additional information and registration are available online at act.org/covid19.
ACT will also lend support to AFT members through some of its other programs, including:
- ACT’s myOptions program, the nation’s largest free college planning program.
- The American College Application Campaign (ACAC), which annually helps nearly 700,000 high school seniors, particularly those from underserved backgrounds, navigate the college application and admissions process.
- ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, which focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement for underserved populations and working learners.
ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Grounded in 60 years of research, ACT is a trusted leader in college and career readiness solutions. Each year, ACT serves millions of students, job seekers, schools, government agencies, and employers in the U.S. and around the world with learning resources, assessments, research, and credentials designed to help them succeed from elementary school through career. To learn more, visit http://www.act.org/.
The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.7 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.