Twenty years ago, the legendary president of the American Federation of Teachers, Al Shanker, died. To mark the occasion, we have asked a number of individuals – some who knew and worked with Al and some who have studied his life’s work – to reflect on the continuing relevance of his ideas and his principles. We did so out of a conviction that Shanker’s ideas and principles are not simply matters of historical interest, but of real contemporary value at a time when public education, unionism and American democracy itself are in a state of profound crisis, under attack in unprecedented ways. The full set of posts is listed below.
Leo Casey, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute
Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, Century Foundation, and author of Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2007)
Herb Magidson, former Vice President (28 years), American Federation of Teachers
Dr. Lorretta Johnson, Secretary Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers
Jennie Shanker, Adjunct Professor at Temple University, and a member of the Temple adjunct organizing committee. (Eadie, Adam, and Michael Shanker also contributed to this piece.)
Eric Chenoweth, Co-Director of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe
Eugenia Kemble, President, Foundation for Democratic Education, and founding Executive Director of the Albert Shanker Institute