Earlier this year, the United States saw statewide teacher strikes in Oklahoma and Arizona. And in recent news, members of the Los Angeles teachers’ union have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. To understand the context of these events, Patty speaks with professor Jon Shelton about his new book Teacher Strike! and his research in public education and labor history. They discuss the history of both K–12 and university education in the U.S., the importance of unions in protecting educators, and the role of academic freedom.
Jon Shelton is an assistant professor of democracy and justice studies at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. He is the author of Teacher Strike!: Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order, which recently won the First Book Award from the International Standing Conference for the History of Education. He wrote an op-ed about teacher strikes that was published in the Washington Post.