Talk Out of School

Inside UFT Politics and History (Part 1) : How The Nation’s Most Powerful Teachers Union Impacted NYC Public Schools

Episode Summary

Daniel Alicea was joined by two lifelong and beloved UFT union activists and leaders, Leo Casey and Norm Scott. They took us through a decade by decade overview of the significant developments within the United Federation of Teachers union and how these impacted public education of NYC schools, from 1960 to 1980. This is part 1 of a three part series entitled: Inside UFT politics and history: How The Nation’s Most Powerful Teachers Union Impacted NYC Public Schools Part 1 took us through the 1960s and 1970's. Parts 2 and 3 will likely be broadcast in August or in the fall. Leo Casey is the Assistant to the AFT president, Randi Weingarten. He is also the former executive director of the Albert Shanker Institute. Leo, is a lifelong educator whose career spans his tenure as a high school teacher to being a past UFT Vice-President. Casey has recently published a book called The Teacher Insurgency: A Strategic and Organizing Perspective. In this book, Leo Casey addresses how the unexpected wave of recent teacher strikes has had a dramatic impact on American public education, teacher unions, and the larger labor movement. Casey explains how this uprising was not only born out of opposition to government policies that underfunded public schools and deprofessionalized teaching, but was also rooted in deep-seated changes in the economic climate, social movements, and, most importantly, educational politics. Norm Scott, has been a dissident voice within the UFT, who served as an outspoking union activist, chapter leader, and delegate during his 35 year NYC elementary school teaching career and, even now, as a retiree. In 1997, he launched an independent publication, Education Notes, a newsletter for NYC teachers which he turned into the EdNotes blog, in 2006. He is a founding member of various UFT caucuses such as, Independent Community of Educators (ICE) and Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), to the now defunct, Grassroots Education Movement (GEM).

Episode Notes



- UFT: 50 Years:

- The Teacher Rebellion by David Selden

- Schools Against Children: The Case for Community Control by Anne Rubenstein

- Blackboard Unions  by Marjorie Murphy

- City Unions: Managing Discontent in New York City  by Mark Meir

- Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy by Richard Kahlenberg

- The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis by Jerald E. Podair