A Collective Pursuit

Teachers' Unions and Education Reform

Lesley Lavery
Book Cover

PB: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1936-1
Publication: May 20

HC: $89.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1935-4
Publication: May 20

Ebook: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1937-8
Publication: May 20

238 pages
5.5 x 8.25
3 tables

Arguing that teachers’ unions are working in community to reinvigorate the collective pursuit of reforms beneficial to both educators and public education


Teachers’ unions are the organizations responsible for safeguarding the conditions of teachers’ employment. Union supporters claim strong synergies between teachers’ interests and students’ interests, but critics of unions insist that the stance of teachers in collective bargaining may disadvantage students as unions reduce the power of administrators to manage, remove, reward or retain excellent teachers.

In A Collective Pursuit, Lesley Lavery unpacks how teachers’ unions today are fighting for contracts that allow them to earn a decent living and build “schools all students deserve.” She explains the form and function of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions. Lavery then explores unionization campaigns in the Twin Cities charter schools. also examines teacher strikes and contract negotiations, school finance and finance reform, and district and union attempts to address racial achievement gaps, to provide a context for understanding the economic, political, and demographic forces that inspire teachers to improve conditions for students.

A Collective Pursuit, emphasizes that while teachers’ unions serve a traditional, economic role, they also provide a vast array of valuable services to students, educators, parents, and community members.

About the Author(s)

Lesley Lavery is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Macalester College.