December 04, 2006
The state of school building

My fellow Stuyvesant graduate Ed Muir has a post on the NCLB blog about the state of school buildings in America today.

What we found was sobering, but not surprising. Although many schools are properly maintained and in good condition, far too many are not, The Society of Civil Engineers, for example, gave America's schools a "D" grade for quality of infrastructure.

This issue has direct educational and health consequences for kids. For example, poor acoustics and indoor air quality hurt performance in the classroom. Mold and improper ventilation are linked to respiratory troubles such as asthma. Schools with poor facilities have higher teacher turnover, which also directly affects student learning.

AFT is advocating for new investments in school construction and rehabilitation. We're also calling for changes in how schools are built. We're asking AFT members across the country to join this effort by checking out this part of the AFT website, which includes links to our report and others on this topic, video and lots of pictures of schools. It also gives parents and school staff the chance to take our online survey and has information on how they can help with the campaign. And if the school you work in is in disrepair, please send us a photo at We'll be updating the site and using these photos in our campaign.

We've asked some of our favorite teachers who blog to post on how the quality of the facility they work in affects their interaction with kids. We'll be linking to them on Monday.

Our thanks go out to our fellow bloggers for taking the time to weigh in on this issue because, as one teacher in Guam put it: "I believe learning is affected when it rains in the room."

Yes, I imagine that would affect my ability to pay attention as well. I'll check back and link to some of the more interesting stories later. In the meantime, I know I've got some teachers, teacher's spouses, and other folks associated with education in my readership. If you've got a story to tell or a picture to share, go ahead and send it to and let them know about it. Thanks.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 04, 2006 to National news | TrackBack