Teachers as Change Agents
Educational Justice: Teaching and Organizing against the Corporate Juggernaut
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21619
Book review of Howard Ryan's Educational Justice: Teaching and Organizing against the Corporate Juggernaut.
For better or for worse, whether consciously or not, it seems that Ryan has not cherry-picked cases that might have more strongly supported his conviction. Instead, he has given us what are probably more typical cases and a more realistic picture: most efforts against the powerful forces of school "reform" will have the same kind of ambiguous results as the cases he presents.
The second chapter, "Trade Unions that Partner with Billionaires," focuses on the teachers' unions: "The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association leaders at national, state and local levels have, to varying degrees, aligned themselves with corporate forces of school reform." Teachers' unions favor a "service model," and to successfully battle these corporate forces, they must be changed to a "social movement approach: democratic, militant, community connected."
Ryan declares that teachers' unions have a responsibility to students, parents and communities. In turn, in today's landscape in which unions have all but disappeared, teachers need new alliances.