Scenes from the Class Struggle

Two quotes:

When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.


The key is that unless there is accountability, we will never get the right system. As long as there are no consequences if kids or adults don’t perform, as long as the discussion is not about education and student outcomes, then we’re playing a game as to who has the power.

….I think we will get—and deserve—the end of public education through some sort of privatization scheme if we don’t behave differently.

Surprisingly, both quotes are from Albert Shanker, President of the American Teacher’s Federation from 1974 to 1997. Shanker is quoted in an excellent piece in the Atlantic by Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York City’s school system, who argues that his eight years of attempted reforms in New York were undermined by teacher’s unions who continue to operate according to the former rather than the latter philosophy.


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