Teachers in the Crosshairs
The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession
Date Written: 2015-11-01
Publisher: Against the Current
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21293
Book review of Dana Goldstein's The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession.
In her chapter on the Communist Party-led Teachers Union in New York City of the 1930s to 1950s - material covered in more depth by Clarence Taylor in Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights, and the New York City Teachers Union (2011) - Goldstein states that the TU's "broad anti-racist, anti-poverty agenda... anticipated many latterday 20th century goals of education reform."
Without specifics or qualification, this is misleading. The TU's similarities to later "education reformers," even those closest to it in aims, are far outstripped by their differences.
The TU aimed to eradicate racism from all school books, not only for Black students but for all students, and to teach the importance of African Americans in U.S. and world history. TU fought for the hiring of more Black teachers, not only for Black students but for all could see, at a young and impressionable age, Blacks in positions of leadership and authority.