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American Educator
Winter 2006-2007


Table of Contents


Why Teacher Unions Are Good for Teachers—and the Public
They Protect Teachers' Rights, Support Teacher Professionalism, and Check Administrative Power
By Diane Ravitch

Protecting teachers from ill-conceived instructional mandates, intolerable conditions, and poor compensation—these are all reasons why teacher unions were important 100 years ago, and remain so today, says this noted education historian.

Protecting Academic Standards
How My Union Makes It Possible
By Erich Martel

One teacher's story about how his union is backing his efforts to stop administrators' grade manipulation.

Nurturing Teacher Knowledge
How Union-Led Professional Development Is Raising Reading Achievement
By Neill S. Rosenfeld

In Toledo, the union and district have partnered to deliver research-based curriculum and lessons to students.

Toledo Teacher Union President: Partner When You Can, Fight When You Must
Q&A with Francine Lawrence

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

The Teacher Experience Gap: What Is the Remedy?

Recognize the Real Cause (PDF)
The Data Show: It Is Not Collective Bargaining
By F. Howard Nelson

Collective bargaining is often assumed to cause teacher turnover in high-poverty schools. But new research shows that the transfer rate is lower in areas with extensive collective bargaining—and higher where there is no collective bargaining.

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

Cultivate the Right Solution (PDF)
It Is Attracting Experienced Teachers to High-Poverty Schools and Strengthening Teacher Retention
By Lynn W. Gregory, Nancy Nevarez, and Alexandra T. Weinbaum

Through the Lead Teacher Project, negotiated between the New York City public schools and the United Federation of Teachers, schools in the South Bronx found a way to attract great teachers—and retain new ones.

How We Brought Experience to the South Bronx (PDF)
By Ocynthia Williams

Cultivating Solutions at the Bargaining Table (PDF)

How We Learn: Ask the Cognitive Scientist (PDF)
The Usefulness of Brief Instruction in Reading Comprehension Strategies
By Daniel T. Willingham

Once students can decode fluently, some brief instruction in reading comprehension strategies can boost their understanding. But the strategies shouldn't be overused because they don't substitute for the background knowledge and vocabulary necessary for comprehension.

Science Careers for the "Why Take Science?" Crowd (a special handout for your students)
By Megan Sullivan and Steve Metz

Roller coaster designer? Scientific illustrator? Forensics technician? These careers all require knowledge of science. Could this handout inspire your students?

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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