Rochester Teacher Association Leadership Conference

Al Shanker applauds the Rochester Teacher Association for its efforts to collaborate with school administration to reform education. He tells the members that they are embarking on new territory and that there are no easy answers he or anyone else can provide them. He compares it to the campaign to unionize teachers in the 1960s. Shanker also addresses whether collaborating with administration is really the role of a union. He asserts it is because the interests of its members are still in mind, and only teachers have the expertise to begin to tackle this problem. He notes the difficulty in imagining different educational models because school has been structured in the same way for years. Yet, Shanker warns of what might happen if teachers do not lead the way on restructuring education, citing school systems across the country experimenting with privatization, vouchers, and other methods without teacher input. Shanker applauds and encourages these innovators.

Rochester, NY
15 pages
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