Mary Cathryn Ricker is the executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers. She was overwhelmingly elected to that position in July 2014 at the AFT’s biennial convention in Los Angeles. Ricker served as president of the Saint Paul (Minn.) Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 28, since 2005, as an AFT vice president since 2012, and a member of the AFT K-12 Teachers program and policy council since 2006.
Blog Post List
August 23, 2017
When Margie Mueller, 85, went to her local Plymouth, Wis., polling site last Election Day, she was turned away because her driver’s license had expired. She was told she could go to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sheboygan, Wis., to get a new, valid ID. That wasn’t going to happen; Sheboygan was too far and Margie was coping with illness. The 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote in the United States, was enacted 97 years ago—just 12 years before Margie was born. Sadly, she died in March without getting one last chance to take advantage of women’s suffrage. Aug. 26, now called...
November 3, 2015
Our children are growing up in a global world. If we are truly going to prepare them to succeed in the 21st century, we must give them the tools to understand and value that global world. Learning about the cultures and histories that define all of us is an important component of our ultimate goal to reclaim the promise of public education for all. However, too many students are not being given the tools to explore and examine the myriad cultures, histories and stories that describe our human experience. Take the viral video by Roni Dean-Burren , a Texas mom who exposed the whitewashed...
April 24, 2015
As a mom, I have to address the reality of social media in my children’s lives, along with balancing the privacy they need to grow and mature in a world I am handing off to them. Part of that is keeping them safe from predators by teaching them how to navigate technology they are more comfortable with than I am. Which is why, when I learned recently that behemoth testing company Pearson is spying on our kids online, my protective instincts flew into high gear. In case you missed it, here’s what happened: A New Jersey superintendent raised the alarm last month after she was contacted by the...
March 5, 2015
I hope I can be forgiven for daydreaming in the middle of a sentence, some days, as I look at my teenagers. I imagine their gummy newborn grins, their first books or songs or games, and their tentative first attempts at ice skating, before being snapped back to reality by the maturity of their negotiating skills, their budding opinions of the world—including their reminders that they are more grownups than children—and the topics and decisions that affect them right now.
January 20, 2015
It’s imperative for Congress and the Obama administration to come up with a solution that provides our early childhood educators with living wages. At the same time, we need to give every child in America a strong start by ensuring they have access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education and care.
October 17, 2014
The statistics are alarming: One out of two public school students lives in poverty. Two out of three public school students qualify for free or subsidized lunch. Three out of five teachers in America report they have children who regularly come to school hungry.