American Educator: Winter 2006-2007

  • Notebook

    Searching for a Comprehensive Reform Model? Skip the Sales Pitch, Now There's an Independent Review

    If you've ever been on a school or district team charged with selecting a comprehensive school reform model, you know just how confusing it is: Slick brochures, flashy PowerPoint presentations, and anecdotes of success abound. There's some real research mixed in, but it sure is hard to find....

  • Why Teacher Unions Are Good for Teachers—and the Public

    They Protect Teachers' Rights, Support Teacher Professionalism, and Check Administrative Power Diane Ravitch

    We live in an era when leaders in business and the media demand that schools function like businesses in a free market economy, competing for students and staff. Many such voices say that such corporate-style school reform is stymied by the teacher unions, which stand in the way of leaders who...

  • Claims That Bargaining Is the Culprit Are Based on Assumptions, Anecdotes, and a Handful of Case Studies

  • How We Brought Experience to the South Bronx

  • Protecting Academic Standards

    How My Union Makes It Possible Erich Martel

    Seeing a student who has just failed a required class walk across the stage on graduation day is a degrading experience that a teacher never forgets. It is compounded when one then discovers that the principal had secretly approved both "erasing" the failing grade and altering the student's...

  • Cultivating Solutions at the Bargaining Table

  • Nurturing Teacher Knowledge

    How and Why Union-Led Professional Development Is Raising Reading Achievement Neill S. Rosenfeld

    It's spring 2006 and third-grader Bryonna McAlister is in tears. She has failed the state's reading test. In a typical district, she would face two bleak options: either being retained in the hope that a second dose of third grade would be more effective than the first or being socially promoted...

  • Toledo Teacher Union President: Partner When You Can, Fight When You Must

    Francine Lawrence, president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers (TFT), spoke with me about the union's continual—and often successful—struggle to forge a working partnership with the school district. Results include the Reading Academy and the landmark 1981 Toledo Plan for assisting and...

  • ER&D: Twenty-Five Years of Union-Sponsored, Research-Based Professional Development

    The American Federation of Teachers' Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) program provides research-based professional development to local unions, thereby building their capacity to deliver high-quality professional development, either on their own or in collaboration with their...

  • Recognize the Real Cause

    It's not Collective Bargaining F. Howard Nelson
  • Cultivate the Right Solution

    It's Attracting and Retaining Experienced Teachers Lynn W. Gregory, Nancy Nevarez, Alexandra T. Weinbaum
  • Ask the Cognitive Scientist

    The Usefulness of Brief Instruction in Reading Comprehension Strategies Daniel T. Willingham
  • Science Careers for the "Why Take Science?" Crowd

    Megan Sullivan, Steve Metz

    Budget cuts in high school guidance offices often make it difficult for students looking for information about careers. It is easy—and common—to drift through school science and math classes wondering, "Why do I need to learn this?" Many students do not see a college science major or science...