Unions and the Obama Agenda

Sawchuk has a detailed and fascinating piece over at EdWeek on the divergent policy agendas of the two national teachers’ unions:

” … the national teachers’ unions are responding to the Obama administration’s teacher-effectiveness agenda in notably different ways … Those responses, say experts on teachers’ unions, are a complex product molded significantly by the unions’ respective governance structures. Among other differences, the structures make the national bully pulpit a more powerful place at the AFT, but tilt NEA policy away from its president and toward its state affiliates.”

The descriptions of the two unions’ respective state affiliates and governance structures are useful in decoding a lot of the policy debates.  But the main takeaway is that there doesn’t actually exist anything so hegemonic as “The Teacher Unions.”


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