by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Education Week notes that nonunion teacher advocacy organizations are on the rise.
In general, the groups’ origins, goals, and purposes remain diverse, and their work continues to evolve. Where the groups seem to converge, though, is that their members are gradually becoming involved in conversations about policy, ranging from teacher evaluation to seniority to professional development.
Groups include the Los Angeles-based NewTLA, which operates as a caucus within the city teachers’ union, and the Educators 4 Excellence group in New York City, which has purposely worked outside the teachers’ union.
Two other efforts, one begun by the Boston-based Teach Plus nonprofit organization and the other by the Carrboro, N.C.-based Center for Teaching Quality, have gathered together teachers in multiple cities. Their approaches are similar: providing those teachers with research on issues of interest and avenues for interacting with policymakers.
Unfortunately, we will not be saying goodbye to the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers anytime soon.