A Collective Pursuit: Teachers' Unions and Education Reform

A Collective Pursuit: Teachers' Unions and Education Reform

by Lesley Lavery


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Teachers’ unions are the organizations responsible for safeguarding the conditions of teachers’ employment. Union supporters claim strong synergies between teachers’ interests and students’ interests, but critics of unions insist that the stance of teachers in collective bargaining may disadvantage students as unions reduce the power of administrators to manage, remove, reward or retain excellent teachers.

In A Collective Pursuit, Lesley Laveryunpacks how teachers’ unions today are fighting for contracts that allow them to earn a decent living and build “schools all students deserve.” She explains the form and function of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions. Lavery then explores unionization campaigns in the Twin Cities charter schools. A Collective Pursuit also examines teacher strikes and contract negotiations, school finance and finance reform, and district and union attempts to address racial achievement gaps, to provide a context for understanding the economic, political, and demographic forces that inspire teachers to improve conditions for students.

A Collective Pursuit emphasizes that while teachers’ unions serve a traditional, economic role, they also provide a vast array of valuable services to students, educators, parents, and community members.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439919361
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 05/29/2020
Edition description: 1
Pages: 238
Sales rank: 936,194
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lesley Lavery is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Macalester College.

Table of Contents

I Introduction and Historical Overview

1 The Union Debate 3

2 Union History 17

II Unions in the Charter Sector

3 Teacher-Led Unionization in the Charter Sector 33

4 The Unionized Charter School Contract 54

5 Top-Down Unionization in the Charter Sector 76

III Union Work in Context

6 The State of the Union 97

7 You Get What You Pay For: Declines and Revolts 116

8 The Problem We All Live With: Race and Reform Realities 134

9 Damned if They Do, Damned if They Don't, Teachers Choose Collective Pursuit 157

Acknowledgments 169

Notes 173

Index 209

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