On Sunday, May 25, 2014 - Professor Lois Weiner, PhD will be back - but from England - with her guest, Mary Compton, President of Teacher Solidarity to continue speaking about the global assault on teaching, teachers and their unions.
About Teacher Solidarity - see more at: http://http://www.teachersolidarity.com
"Education in almost every country in the world is subject to the grip of neo-liberal education 'reform' which is slowly starving out public schooling, promoting privatisation, destroying teacher professionalism and aims only to produce a minimally educated workforce, which can read instructions and advertisements but is discouraged from thinking critically about the world.
Teachersolidarity is an independent website which records the resistance to such reform of teachers, their unions, communities and researchers, who are fighting to defend public and democratic education. It aims to bring such people together, through sharing experiences, learning from one another and giving and receiving solidarity."
Lois Weiner is a professor of education at New Jersey City University, where she coordinates a Master's degree in Urban Education for experienced teachers. She has published widely on urban teacher education, school reform, and teacher unionism and is a past president of the Special Interest Group on teachers' work and teachers unions of the American Educational Research Association. She taught high school for 15 years, in California and New York, and was an activist in the teachers union. Currently she is a member of the New Politics editorial board and maintains a website with information about the global project to de-professionalize teaching.
Her Story: "Throughout my work life, as a classroom teacher and union officer, then college professor and researcher, I’ve believed that teachers need to work with parents as respectful partners and stand up for social justice. I think transforming teachers unions is an essential part of that project. When teachers unions live up to their potential, they plant the seed of democracy in the schools, giving teachers voice. That’s one reason the unions are being attacked so viciously in the media.
But democracy at the school place also means sharing power with parents, community, and students. As a former teacher and parent of a child in the NYC schools, I’ve seen the inequality of the system and the marginalization of critics. It’s easy under these conditions for parents to blame teachers - and vice versa - for what are actually the system’s failings. That’s what occurs in New York City, and it’s a dynamic we have to stop. Teachers Unite, from its inception, has been committed to bringing teachers, students, parents, and community together as allies in fighting for social justice in the schools and in our city.
Today more than ever we need to create mutually respectful relations between teachers unions and communities who want quality schools for their children. Many teachers are fearful of speaking out for kids. Others are just starting to realize the extent of the danger facing us. We need to build a social movement that pushes back on reforms that use the rhetoric of equal opportunity to privatize our schools, increase competition for scarce resources, and worsen conditions for the vast majority of students.
Teachers Unite embodies my goals for education, and I am proud to have served on its Board of Directors. I think its work is so essential to New York City that I make it the recipient of the royalties from my new book, “The future of our schools. Teachers unions and social justice.” We need to work fast and smart to save public education in NYC, and I think Teachers Unite is one of our best hopes to do that."
Lois Weiner, Professor
Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education
Coordinator, MA in Urban Education/Teaching and Learning
New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07305