From Teachers' Rights to Teacher Power

in Uncivil Rights

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226660714
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226660738 | DOI:
From Teachers' Rights to Teacher Power

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This chapter explains teacher union campaigns in 1970 and 1980 and states that they were a product of visible efforts towards school reform on the part of black parents and a publicly responsive image of teacher unions. In this process essential contributions were provided by Albert Shanker, president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the American Federation of Teachers (1974). He put forth a more consolidated message about teacher professionalism than had existed in 1970 in a weekly column in the New York Times and in his support of the Reagan administration's report on school failure, A Nation at Risk. This message was accountable for upholding high professional standards. Though the teachers' responses to this argument about accountability varied, they were also tangential to a teacher power movement that more effectively produced political power for teacher unions than it heightened individual teachers' authority in their schools and their communities.

Keywords: teacher union campaigns; school reform; black parents; Albert Shanker; teacher professionalism; professional standards; teacher unions

Chapter.  15314 words. 

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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