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: 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 […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Rural and urban kids face many of the same challenges

By: - October 1, 2021

If you’re just passing through them, it may not look like rural and urban, including many surrounding suburbs, communities have much in common — and elected officials often pit urban and rural communities against each other in public policy fights.  However, they actually have more in common than some would like us to believe, including […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Anti-worker policies from the Snyder era are holding Michigan back

By: - September 6, 2021

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the hard-fought victories unions have won for all working people and consider our path forward as we continue our work to defend and uplift workers everywhere.  Usually, union members would be marching together down Michigan Avenue today — but while COVID prevents us from gathering for a […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Conservative myths about critical race theory hurt students and teachers

By: - September 1, 2021

As educators, we believe in teaching kids the truth about our history and society, even when the truth is not pleasant. But some people across the country are working to infringe on teachers’ right and responsibility to be honest with their students about the history or racism, past and present, in our nation. In keeping […]