In the past decade, the authority of school administrators and school boards has been called into question by members of two emerging groups—teachers' unions and advocates of community control. While both movements have received much attention, the relationship between them has gone largely unrecognized. Charles W. Cheng argues that collective bargaining between unions and school systems is creating an infrastructure of labor-relations experts who are removing decision-making power from both school boards and rank-and-file teachers; as enlargement of the scope of bargaining pulls more and more educational-policy decisions into the collective-bargaining arena, parents and communities are pushed further than ever from the educational power structure. Yet ways exist to include parents and communities in educational decision making without sacrificing the gains which teachers' unions have won. Challenging teachers to reexamine the policies their leaders have pursued, the author describes and assesses several strategies for opening up the bargaining process.
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