Recommended Readings:


  • How to Fix Schools by Richard Rothstein, Research Associate, Economic Policy Institute. This is policy brief puts the issue of teacher quality in context and makes the point that improving student outcomes is "more complicated, and more work, than the Klein-Rhee ‘Manifesto’ wants you to believe." This paper could well be used as a discussion-starter for a conversation with school and community leaders about the importance of making student learning a community-wide concern.
  • 94.6% No Confidence Vote an account by Mark Friedman of a “war for the soul of our schools” in Rochester NY.


  • United Mind Workers: Unions and Teaching in the Knowledge Society Charles Taylor Kerchner, Julia E. Koppich, Joseph G. Weeres ISBN: 978-0-7879-0829-4 (Hardcover) 256 pages, May 1997. Abstract: Teacher unions will affect the future of both the institution of public education and the institution of organized labor. Ways in which these unions can elevate education to a new level are described in this book. It offers a model in which teacher unions are organized around issues of quality teaching and professional development, as well as economic fairness. It shows how these unions can seize the opportunity created by the fundamental restructuring of public education now under way by shifting from organizing around issues of job control, work rules, and uniformity, to focusing on quality control and increased productivity through innovation. The text advocates strengthening school-level labor relations through compacts that transform learning and school operations. These compacts can then be connected to substantive district contracts that include measurable educational goals and a teacher salary schedule that is based on knowledge and skill. Career security is championed over job security, which will allow teachers to move with ease among schools, districts, and states. A new career ladder that places teachers at the top and a mechanism for improved training and job mobility opportunities for paraprofessionals are also advocated. The book is divided into four parts: (1) "A Postindustrial Unionism"; (2) "The Quest for Quality"; (3) "New Union-Management Agreements"; and (4) "Institutionalizing the New Union." (Contains an index and approximately 175 references.) (RJM)
  • Taking Charge of Quality. How Teachers and Unions can Revitalize Schools An Introduction and Companion to "United Mind Workers." Charles Taylor Kerchner, Julia E. Koppich, Joseph G. Weeres ISBN: 978-0-7879-4334-9 (Paperback) 72 pages, August 1998. Abstract: This book suggets that teachers and teacher unions should take the lead in making changes to promote educational quality and prepare students for the 21st century, where knowledge rather than industry will be the organizing principle. Part 1, "A Call to Action," describes how American society is changing and how these shifts necessitate the transformation of American education. It discusses educational challenges and what teachers and unions can do to deal with the challenges. Part 2, "A Commitment to Quality," explores the role that teachers and unions must take in bringing about educational change, discussing how to improve the craft of teaching, upgrade educational standards, and evaluate the work of peers. Part 3, "Organizing Around Transforming Schools," lays out a proposal for how unions can organize around a primary commitment to improving education. It discusses new contracting strategies, hiring and rewarding teachers, creating more career flexibility for teachers, and what teachers can do now to begin the process of change. (SM)


  • NEA Foundation Free Online Courses The NEA Foundation courses are intended to develop collaborative skills and content knowledge. The courses promote union-district collaboration as a tool for systems change and were developed by field experts, using a rich selection of resources. Use the course content in whatever way best meets your needs – a whole course, a single session, or just an activity. New courses are in development and will be posted periodically.


National Union Reform Initiatives

TURN is exploring opportunities to mutually support and promote the innovation initiatives of the national teachers unions:

(MASE TURN) Teacher Evaluation

  • Finding the Link: Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development information, images, and related readings from a conference sponsored by Education Sector, plus a video from a panel discussion.

    On June 30, 2010, Education Sector hosted a live panel discussion on emerging strategies to link teacher evaluation and professional development and the implications of Race to the Top funding and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act on the long-term improvement of these core elements.

(MASE TURN) Teacher Compensation