Author

David Hecker

David Hecker

David Hecker has served as president of AFT Michigan since 2001. Previously, he was secretary-treasurer of the state federation. A member of the AFT executive committee, Hecker was first elected as an AFT vice president in 2004.

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: After the election, let’s celebrate, analyze and build a better Michigan

By: - November 17, 2022

Last week’s election results were astounding.  For the first time in my 39 years in Michigan, stalwart allies of public education and working people are the majority in both the Michigan Senate and House and Gretchen Whitmer will be our governor for four more years.  Moreover, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: How you can make your voice heard this election

By: - October 19, 2022

We hear it every time there’s an election year: Get out and vote to effect change in your communities. And it’s true; voting is one of the most important tools we have to put our political values into practice. You can bet I’ll be casting a ballot this November — but voting is just one […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: We can debate issues, but public education shouldn’t be a political war zone

By: - September 19, 2022

As a union representing educators, we have a vested interest in public policy, and therefore politics. And as a union, AFT Michigan has received our fair share of criticism from people who believe politics do not belong in education.  At best, the claims that we should keep education and politics separate are somewhat misguided. At […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Corporations should stop funding politicians who back voter suppression

By: - July 20, 2022

Sometimes it is hard to live our values. We try hard to do so, and I for one, know that at times I falter.   But while slipping at times is understandable, there are lines we must strive never to cross. Voting rights is not a complicated issue. It’s a question of fundamental values — justice, […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Here’s why canceling student debt matters

By: - June 21, 2022

For decades, teenagers have been sold a version of the American dream centered around college education: They’ll go to school, graduate with a degree, and find enough success in their chosen field to pay off their debts and thrive financially.  Parts of this are true, and some lucky few may have this exact experience — […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: We must fight back against attacks on LGBTQ+ kids and adults

By: - May 11, 2022

Right now, I am worried. Like many others in Michigan and across the country, I’ve seen the onslaught of homophobic and transphobic attacks coming at LGBTQ+ kids and adults from all angles, and I know the impact this kind of bigotry can have on people who are already marginalized. In just the past few weeks […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: We must fight back against the DeVos education agenda

By: - April 13, 2022

Michiganders have known for a long time that the DeVos family is a threat to public education.  Over the years, Betsy DeVos has been extremely active in the conservative movement to undermine public education and funnel taxpayer dollars into non-public schools, including her track record as former President Trump’s secretary of Education advancing this reckless […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Here’s how we can improve our classrooms and our climate

By: - March 18, 2022

Educators and schools play a critical role in preparing our kids for the future and giving them the skills they’ll need to thrive. But education doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and our students’ future will be shaped by more than what they learn from their textbooks.  Right now, the climate crisis is one of the […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Student teachers deserve to be paid for their work

By: - February 8, 2022

Many of us have fond memories of student teachers from our time in K-12 education. These students and aspiring educators joined our classrooms — and for several months, did the work of a full-time teacher, from planning lessons to managing the class on a day to day basis.  But what many students who have spent […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Schools need a comprehensive approach to gun violence prevention

By: - January 15, 2022

Last month, a community right here in Michigan was devastated by a mass shooting that took place at a school.  I wish I could say the Oxford High School shooting was an isolated incident, but as we’ve all observed over the past two decades, school shootings have become an all-too-common occurrence. We cannot bring back […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Public money should go to public schools

By: - December 3, 2021

For decades, the DeVos family and their ilk have crusaded to undermine public schools and funnel money into private schools, and unfortunately, they’re back at it again.  This latest push to defund public schools began in the Legislature, where Republican lawmakers passed bills that would create tax credits for “scholarship funds” that could be used […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Empower paraprofessionals to address Michigan’s teacher shortage

By: - November 8, 2021

It’s no secret that school districts across Michigan are struggling with a teacher shortage—and both teachers and students are struggling as a result. Without adequate staff, schools are forced to resort to larger class sizes, increasing teachers’ workloads and making it more difficult for students to get the individualized attention they need to succeed. In […]