Organizing the Oppressed Teacher

in Uncivil Rights

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226660714
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226660738 | DOI:
Organizing the Oppressed Teacher

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This chapter focuses on the transformation of the teacher unions between 1950 and 1960 that came about due to teacher assignment campaigns. Organizations such as the Urban League and various parent study groups largely focused on teacher quality as the major obstacle to the fair and equal education of black students with the increase in postwar civil rights campaigns. All these investigations were supported by the Teacher Union and it also supported plans of the Board of Education to transfer experienced teachers to minority schools. During this time, the Teachers Guild became more determined to organize teachers and consolidate the city's multitudinous existing teacher organizations into one movement by the use of campaigns focusing on the idea of the “oppressed teacher.” The oppressed-teacher argument helped to depoliticize conversations and it became more difficult to ignore race politics in city schools. The Guild consolidated with other teacher organizations to form the UFT that symbolized the growing division between teachers' rights and civil rights in 1959.

Keywords: oppressed teacher; Urban League; parent study groups; black students; Teachers Guild; Teacher Union; teachers; schools; civil rights

Chapter.  15662 words. 

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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