Teachers United: The Rise of New York State United Teachers

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SUNY Press, Feb 1, 2012 - History - 280 pages
The inspiring history of NYSUT, New York State’s largest union, and a powerful progressive force in the state and in the country.

This book tells the story of the rise of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), New York State’s largest union. Using first-hand accounts by rank-and-file teachers as well as leaders, Dennis Gaffney documents how teachers, once underpaid and hopelessly divided, finally organized, lifting themselves from the underclass to the middle class to become a formidable grassroots political force able to defeat and elect U.S. senators. He describes how New York’s teachers sparked the modern-day teachers’ movement, and what key lessons other labor unions can learn from NYSUT’s unity and success. Teachers United also shows how NYSUT has been a leader of educational reform, winning more money for education, creating smaller classes, raising academic standards, and training better teachers.

Dennis Gaffney is a freelance journalist based in Albany, New York, who has written for numerous venues over the past twenty years, including Mother Jones, the Nation, the New York Times, the History Channel Magazine, and the Christian Science Monitor. He has worked as a writer and video producer at WGBH, Boston’s PBS station, and has written for the companion websites for American Experience and Antiques Roadshow. A graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in history, he is now Adjunct Professor in the Department of Journalism at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

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Contents

The Merger
65
PART III Maturity
153
CONCLUSION
215
APPENDIX
219
Copyright

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Page 196 - States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.
Page 120 - We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old. For the Union makes us strong.
Page 196 - If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.
Page 219 - Association states that the purpose and objects of the said corporation shall be "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of education in the United States.
Page 97 - York, in convention assembled, believing that the best interests of every community are founded upon Ťound and thorough elementary education, and that without unity of feeling and concert of action on the part of teachers, this can rarely, if ever, be attained, and further, that the true dignity of our profession calls for associated action and combined effort, do hereby agree to form ourselves into a Teachers' State Association, to be governed by the Constitution subjoined.
Page 35 - to make legislative proposals for protecting the public against the disruption of vital public services by illegal strikes, while at the same time protecting the rights of public employees.
Page 234 - Report of the New York State Commission on the Quality. Cost and Financing of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Page 145 - ... whenever the clock struck, those figures exercised most graceful movements. And everybody, the people and the judges said that yes, to accomplish a thing like that was most unbelievable. And the princess looked at the clock and then looked at the handsome young man, and she liked them both very much. And the judges were just about to pronounce their formal judgment, when a new competitor appeared, a low-brow fellow. He, too, carried something in his hand, but it was not a work of art, it was...

About the author (2012)

Dennis Gaffney is a freelance journalist based in Albany, New York, who has written for numerous venues over the past twenty years, including Mother Jones, the Nation, the New York Times, the History Channel Magazine, and the Christian Science Monitor. He has worked as a writer and video producer at WGBH, Boston s PBS station, and has written for the companion websites for American Experience and Antiques Roadshow. A graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in history, he is now Adjunct Professor in the Department of Journalism at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

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