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 writes widely on education and labor and is the author of The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice (Haymarket Books, 2012). She is a member of the  New Politics editorial board and a co-editor of the print issue.

 

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