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Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy. Hardcover – August 16, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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This book is a must-read for those interested in educational or labor history.(Historian)
A thoroughly researched and engaging biography.(Arch Puddington The Wall Street Journal)
[A] fascinating biography.(Sol Stern City Journal)
At once exquisitely complex and grandly contextual.(Martin Peretz The New Republic)
A well-drawn portrait.(Scott McLemee Newsday)
Judicious and engaging.(Fred Siegel Weekly Standard)
[A] timely new biography.(Sara Mosle Slate)
An engaging book, and essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Cold War liberalism and its complicated legacy.(Scott McLemee Inside Higher Ed)
An excellent new biography.(Jal Mehta American Prospect)
A must read for unionists, educators, politicians and democracy internationalists trying to make sense of the persistent failings of U.S. education.(Eugenia Kemble Democratiya)
A spirited and readable biography.(Adam Fairclough Washington Post)
Named one of the American School Board Journal's must-reads of the year.(American School Board Journal)
[This book] is an important contribution to the history of American education reform.(Nathan Glazer Education Next)
An important new biography.(The Politico)
A must-read for those interested in educational or labor history.(Historian)
Top Customer Reviews
I read TOUGH LIBERAL by Richard D. Kahlenberg, I had not known
too much about him.
That's no longer the case . . . in fact, this excellent biography even
increased my appreciation of Shanker who once told an interviewer:
* "If I didn't have to make a living, I would have done this as a volunteer."
What he did was head the American Federation of Teachers for
well over 20-25 years . . . by doing so, he helped change the
perception of teachers by having them recognized as professionals:
* A professional receives a liberal-arts education, then specialized
training, and then must pass a rigorous exam before beginning
to practice. She participates in an internship, is guided by mentors,
and participates in reviewing the performance of colleagues. Once these
professional responsibilities are met come the reciprocal set of rights:
greater autonomy and higher compensation. In Shanker's vision,
policies like a rigorous national test, peer review, and career
ladders were not just defensive moves against critics
of public-school teachers, they were prerequisites
to the professionalization of teaching.
TOUGH LIBERAL summarized Shanker's contributions to
education in one of the finest concluding paragraphs that I've
* In one lifespan, Albert Shanker helped to create the institution
of collective bargaining for teachers, giving them greater dignity
and voice in how they would be treated. He then used that power
to engage in a series of critical education reforms that proved
instrumental in improving and preserving the institution of public
education.Read more ›
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