AFT Convention 1980 State of the Union Speech

Al Shanker addresses union members and guests at the AFT annual convention. He discusses at great length legal, political, and judicial issues that affect public education including: a recent Supreme Court decision in the case National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) v. Yeshiva University in which professors were deemed management and thus unable to unionize; Lau Regulations, named for a court case, Lau v. Nichols, which mandated bilingual education; Youth Employment Programs that created publicly funded private institutions for high school students; the presidential Democratic Convention at which Jimmy Carter won the nomination over the AFT's endorsed candidate, Ted Kennedy; and the NEA's support of the Department of Education. Additionally, Shanker welcomed to the convention union members who were not involved in education as the AFT had recently added members from the health care and civil service fields. Shanker also welcomed international members and asserted the AFT's commitment to human rights and international aid. Shanker warned against tuition tax credits and vouchers. He also discussed partnerships with the business community to address dire economic conditions in the nation's cities, enlisting corporate help to support schools. Finally, Shanker states that education cannot be improved by political action alone, insisting that teachers commit to improving educational quality and relationships with parents.

Detroit, MI
30 pages
Attachment(click to download)
63.54.pdf63.54.pdf1.32 MB