Growing a Social Justice Union

http://www.thenation.com/article/tough-lessons-1968-teacher-strikes/ (Kris)

“This vilification of teachers unions misses a much more complex reality. Even as the unions argued—often in a tone-deaf way—for job-security protections that few parents could support, organized teachers were (and remain) potent advocates for many of the education policies that most benefit disadvantaged children, from tuition-free pre-K to better training for teachers. Despite this fact, as Northern school boards and mayors resisted desegregation in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education and the hopes for an integrated Great Society curdled, the community-control and Black Power movements loomed with a forceful critique of teachers unions—a critique that was eagerly adopted by the liberal elite within philanthropy and government, and one that remains potent today.”


http://www.thenation.com/article/what-it-takes-unite-teachers-unions-and-communities-color/

Michelle Fine and Michael Fabricant Sep 2014--This is a short article that reflects back on Oceanhill/Brownsville with a long view of education reform. (Helen)


 

Books

An article about New York’s “Absent Teacher Reserve” (same as our surplus pool in Baltimore). https://jd2718.org/2014/05/20/the-perils-of-the-atr/

This blog post is written by a teacher giving the history of how it came about that teachers placed on a surplus list (which is now easy for principals to do; and it happens when schools close) can be fired.  Could be interesting for teachers to see how Baltimore’s policies are carbon copies of “reforms” in other cities, starting with Rahm Emanuel’s policy reforms in Chicago.


How to Jump Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers by Labor Notes (Natalia/Helen)

Available in the Teachers' Democracy Project - email us at democracyproject@icloud.com to check out the book

Also available on Amazon

This is a must-read for anyone interested in changing their teachers’ union from the bottom up.  It is practical and, at the same time, based on a strong philosophy of collective struggle in unison with parents and communities.


Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity by Micah Uetricht (Natalia/Helen)

Available in the Teachers' Democracy Project - email us at democracyproject@icloud.com to check out the book

Also available on Amazon

For anyone who wants to know more of the details of how Chicago teachers got together to form CORE, this is a good, short read.


The Future of our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice by Lois Weiner (Cristina/Corey/Helen)

Available in the Teachers' Democracy Project - email us at democracyproject@icloud.com to check out the book

Also available on Amazon

Lois Weiner provides more of the long view on teachers unions and social justice.  Her book is ideal for understanding the larger political context for struggles over our current unions.  She is strongly pro union and has many years of experience both at the grassroots level organizing with teachers, at the national level of AFT and NEA, and has studied the impact of globalization on education reform in the U.S. and other countries.