Educator Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade: Teachers Must Fight Inequality, Not Create It

Like most public school teachers, Jeffrey M.R. Duncan-Andrade knows that educators are first responders: They are often the first non-family members to see children when they are unwell, angry, depressed or agitated. But unlike many of his peers, he sees his role, first and foremost, as promoting “wellness” of body, emotions, mind and spirit. His latest book, Equality or Equity: Toward a Model of Community-Responsive Education, offers a prescriptive message for local schools and school districts and shifts the focus from rote learning and standardized testing to instead promote relationships that lead to flourishing communities and engaged individuals. It’s an…

55,000 Ontario Education Workers Strike Despite ‘Draconian’ New Anti-Labor Law

Defying new legislation fast-tracked by right-wing Ontario Premier Doug Ford outlawing strikes, more than 55,000 education workers in the Canadian province hit the picket lines Friday, vowing to stay in the streets for “as long as it takes” to secure a contract they feel is fair. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) launched what it called “a wake-up call and a call to arms for organized labor across Canada” after Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government on Thursday enacted Bill 28 — the Keeping Students in Class Act — which imposes contracts on CUPE members and prohibits them from striking on…

Teachers Make 23.5 Percent Less Than Other College Graduates, a New High

Amid reports of teacher shortages across the U.S. numbering in the hundreds of thousands, along with violent and vicious far-right attacks on public schools, new research shows that teacher salaries are now at record lows. A report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) on Tuesday finds that, while there has long been a pay gap between teachers and comparable college graduates, that gap has recently reached its highest level since EPI began recording such data. In 2021, the report found, teachers’ weekly pay was 23.5 percent less on average than that of other college graduates, adjusted for age, education,…

Schools Are Facing Shortage of 300,000 Teachers and Staff, Major Union Says

National Education Association president Becky Pringle on Thursday warned that the U.S. teacher shortage has spiraled into a “five-alarm crisis,” with nearly 300,000 teaching and support positions left unfilled and policymakers taking desperate — and in some cases, questionable — measures to staff classrooms. Pringle told ABC News that teachers unions have been warning for years that chronic disinvestment in schools has placed untenable pressure on educators as they face low pay and overcrowded classrooms. “We have a crisis in the number of students who are going into the teaching profession and the number of teachers who are leaving it,”…

Educators in St. Paul and Minneapolis Are Preparing for Potential Strike

This story was originally published at Prism. In a Feb. 24 announcement, teachers with the Saint Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), which includes both teachers and Education Support Professionals, announced an intent to strike. Filed with the state of Minnesota’s Bureau of Mediation, the intent to strike was authorized by the board in a vote counted Feb. 17 and provides a legally-mandated, 10-day warning to the school districts about a possible strike. The demands from both unions to their districts have been similar. They are asking for limits on class sizes, wage increases,…

Richmond Educators Win Precedent-Setting Fight for Collective Bargaining Rights

This story was first published at Labor Notes. Teachers and other public school employees in Richmond, Virginia, won a major victory in December when the city’s school board, in an 8 to 1 vote, approved a resolution granting them collective bargaining rights. The victory sets a precedent for other districts and public sector employees throughout the state. Richmond is the first school district in Virginia to reinstate collective bargaining rights, after the legislature in 2020 lifted the state’s 43-year prohibition on collective bargaining for local government workers. Members of the school board had made repeated attempts to delay the vote.…

Amid Staffing and Mental Health Crises, Teachers Say Test Prep Is Wrong Priority

This article was first published at Labor Notes. In mid-October six fights broke out in one day at Lawrence High School in Massachusetts. Police were called and arrests made. For those inside the school, this was shocking, but not surprising. “The unrest is the students’ way of screaming out, ‘We need help,’” said high school English teacher Kristin Colucci. “Their social and emotional needs are not being met.” Since the return to school buildings in September, teachers and students say the stress and fragility are palpable. Lawrence High is so understaffed that sometimes students show up to a classroom and…