Saturday, October 27, 2007

Albert Shanker, Image and Reality

I came across this by TJC's Swerdlow and Wainer written shortly after Shanker died in 1997.

"The Shanker-Feldman vision has so weakened teacher unionism that government officials can now openly consider the privatization of public education. Therefore, the future of [public] education may depend on the ability of rank-and-file members to challenge the Unity/Progressive Caucus and replace the union's rhetoric of professionalism with a strategic vision of militance, solidarity and democracy."

Ten years later, we can see the results as the very future of public education and the power of teacher unionism at the school level is threatened like no time before. The combination of iron tight Unity Caucus control of the UFT and by proxy, the AFT, combined with Weingarten's strategy of coopting the main opposition - New Action - has left ICE and TJC to attempt to resurrect some semblance of opposition to Unity from scratch.

And I'm sure some people may have some critiques of their critique, so fire away.

The entire article can be accessed at Norms Notes at this link.

One more note: I've read interesting stuff TJC people have written that does not get out to the general membership. I think TJC people limit their scope by keeping apples and oranges separate. More openness would have mitigated the impact of Unity's "Red Scare" attack on Kit Wainer in the last election.

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