Seattle suggests what teachers' union contracts can do for kids

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Members of the Washington Education Association (WEA), an NEA affiliate in Seattle, are on strike this morning. Picketing has begun outside schools though bargaining has resumed. The demands in this strike show the power of a teachers' union to use the contract to make schools what they should be for all kids.  The ones that I think are most significant:

1. Guaranteed student recess: Recess time varies wildly across the district, and we believe all students benefit from a guaranteed amount of time for play and exercise.
2. Reasonable testing: Too much standardized testing is stealing time away from classroom learning.
3. Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap: We need to focus on equity issues across Seattle, not just in six schools.

I'm with the Seattle union in this struggle and hope you are too.  More information on the strike here.

About Author
LOIS WEINER, a member of the  New Politics editorial board, writes widely about education, labor, and politics, specializing in teacher unionism. She is  writing a new book about how teachers, education workers, and their unions need to respond to the current political terrain, re-examining what's changed since publication of her call to action in the  "The future of our schools."

 

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