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Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2013
For years, the St. Louis school district has experienced the convergence of two trend lines school superintendents hope never to see: rising employee-pension costs and falling student enrollment. Despite years of fully funding its share of the teacher-pension plan, the proportion of the St. Louis district's budget tied up in paying benefits for…
Descriptors: School Districts, Educational Trends, Retirement Benefits, Costs
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
As a new breed of national education advocacy organizations gains clout, they're entering into often-uneasy relationships with teachers' unions--and running into a debate about whether they can play a grassroots "ground game" comparable to that of labor. For many unions, the policy changes the newer groups typically support--staffing based on…
Descriptors: Unions, Advocacy, National Organizations, Politics of Education
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
Faced with arguably the biggest crisis of its 155-year history--the loss of at least 100,000 full-time members--the nation's largest union plans to respond by organizing thousands of new members and transforming itself into an even more politically potent force. Whether the National Education Association (NEA) can accomplish those goals while…
Descriptors: Unions, Collective Bargaining, Professional Associations, Teaching (Occupation)
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
Can a teachers' union successfully be both a hardball-playing defender of its rights and a collaborative force for the common good? It is both a question of philosophy and, increasingly, one of policy direction for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), whose biennial convention in Detroit showed delegates grappling with the tension between…
Descriptors: Testing, Standardized Tests, Unions, Educational Change
Sawchuk, Stephen – Education Week, 2012
A strike last week by some 29,000 teachers in Chicago pushed long-simmering tensions over deeply divisive school improvement ideas--including changes in teacher evaluation and the takeover or closure of underperforming schools--into the national spotlight. A framework for a tentative agreement emerged last Friday, and the union's house of…
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Standardized Tests, Unions, Educational Change