father and son search for hopeThe American Federation of Teachers, vilified by critics as an obstacle to school reform, is leading an unusual effort to turn around a floundering school system in a place where deprivation is layered on heartache.

The AFT wants to improve education deep in the heart of Appalachia by simultaneously tackling the social and economic troubles of McDowell County.

The union announced today that it has gathered about 40 partners, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cisco Systems, IBM, Save the Children, utility companies, housing specialists, community colleges, and state and federal governments, which have committed to a five-year plan called the McDowell Initiative, to try to lift the region out of its depths.

(READ the full story in the Washington Post)

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