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ERIC Number: EJ1173457
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Teacher Unionism in America: Lessons from the Past for Defending and Deepening Democracy
Shelton, Jon
American Educator, v42 n1 p30-35, 40 Spr 2018
Our nation is at a crossroads. The fight to reclaim our country and restore democracy must come from the bottom up and must be rooted at the local level. Those who teach, now more than ever, represent the crucial linchpin in this struggle. In his book "Teacher Strike!: Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order," the author documents some astounding efforts by teachers across the country to build and wield collective power. He concluded in his book that "two examples of teacher unionism, one hundred years apart…show that teacher organization is at its best when it is part of a larger social movement and when it can show how intimately related are teacher working conditions, student learning conditions, and social equality." The two examples he used were both from Chicago: Margaret Haley and the Chicago Teachers Federation (CTF--a founding union of the American Federation of Teachers in 1916) in the early 20th century, and Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) in the early 21st. In this article, he explains what we can learn from each and share what his union (situated just a bit north of the Windy City) is doing locally to follow in their footsteps.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois (Chicago); Wisconsin
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A