Looking Backwards Into The Future

Posted by on October 15, 2012

This is an adaptation of a recent message to AFT staff and leadership from Eugenia Kemble, on the occasion of her departure as the Albert Shanker Institute’s founding executive director, a position she held from March 1998 through September 2012.

I hope you will accept a few reflections from an old-timer as I leave the Albert Shanker Institute, which was launched with the support of the American Federation of Teachers in 1998, a year after Al’s death.

I started in 1967 as a cub reporter for New York’s Local 2 and have worked for the AFT, the AFL-CIO, and the Albert Shanker Institute since 1975, so I have been on duty for awhile. I was particularly grateful for the decision to create the Shanker Institute.  It has become a very special kind of forum – directed by an autonomous board of directors to ensure its independence – where, together with a broad spectrum of colleagues from both inside and outside the union, core ideas, positions, and practices could be discussed, examined, modeled, and debated.  Its inquisitive nature and program attempt to capture a key feature of Al Shanker’s contribution to union leadership.  As a result, the Institute’s work has helped many, including me, to reach a clearer understanding of the essential character of the AFT, unionism, public education, and of democracy itself, as well as what about them we hope will endure. Read More »


New Policy Brief: The Evidence On Charter Schools And Test Scores

Posted by on December 14, 2011

In case you missed it, today we released a new policy brief, which provides an accessible review of the research on charter schools’ testing effects, how their varying impacts might be explained, and what this evidence suggests about the ongoing proliferation of these schools.

The brief is an adaptation of a three-part series of posts on this blog (here is part one, part two and part three).

Download the policy brief (PDF)

The abstract is pasted directly below. Read More »


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Banner image adapted from 1975 photograph by Jennie Shanker, daughter of Albert Shanker.