The Future of Our Schools

Teachers Unions and Social Justice

By Lois Weiner

Lois Weiner, a life-long teacher union activist and educator, has been an officer of three union locals. With Mary Compton she co-edited "The Global Assault on Teaching, Teachers, and Their Unions." Internationally known for her work on urban teacher education, she received the American Educational Research Association (AERA) award for research on teacher education for her book, "Preparing teachers for urban schools."


"Lois Weiner has written the book we need right now. Drawing on scholarship and experience, Weiner outlines the potential power of teacher unions to reverse the corporate assault on public education and the necessity to transform the narrow business unionism that stands in the way. Every one fighting to reclaim public education should read it."
— Pauline Lipman, Professor, Educational Policy Studies, College of Education, University of Illinois-Chicago

"This book empowers teachers to (re)claim their agency in the arduous fight for equity and social justice!"
—H. Richard Milner IV, Associate Professor of Education, Vanderbilt University

"This highly accessible book proposes shifting the focus to social movement-oriented unions in order to develop a counter-voice to neoliberal reforms. Kudos to Lois Weiner for this excellent, very timely must read!"
—Angela Valenzuela, author, Subtractive Schooling: U.S.-Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring and Leaving Children Behind: How ‘Texas-style’ Accountability Fails Latino Youth

"Lois Weiner’s book should be a wake-up call for all of us who work in K-12 schools. Her analysis of the current political climate is clear, sharp and desperately needed. The Future of Our Schools provides a template for rank and file members to be pro-active in their unions and a nudge to union leadership to open the process to defeat the corporate agenda."
—Karen Lewis, President, Chicago Teachers Union

"This is a call to action, but also a thoughtful analysis, for teachers involved with union activism and those who have kept their union at arm's length."
Sally Lee, Executive Director, Teachers Unite, New York City

"With the present intense resistance of teachers globally to neo-liberal education reform, this book could not be more timely. The lessons from the US experience, so well analyzed in this work, are relevant to us all."
—Mary Compton, past President, National Union of Teachers, co-editor of The Global Assault on Teaching, Teachers, and Their Unions.

Praise for Preparing Teachers for Urban Schools

"Weiner has written a book that is informative, jarringin its analysis of prevailing assumptions about preparing urban teachers, and constructive in its designs for improved programs... She knows well the dilemmas of teacher education and the joys and difficulties of daily teaching. Few books on teacher education carry such authority of experience, blending analysis and passion, as this one does."
—For the Foreword by Larry Cuban.

Praise for Urban Teaching: The Essentials

"I felt like this book was written just for me. It clearly addresses real issues with honesty and integrity."
—Deborah J. Comeau, Art teacher

"As a teacher who is currently working in an urban setting, I owe a lot of my success to Lois Weiner."
—Joe Bailey, E.S.L. teacher

Praise for The Global Assault

"... If you are a teacher and have ever wondered who it is that is pulling your strings, and how and why they are doing it, you'll find this book fascinating and frightening in equal measure."
—Phil Beadle, Guardian columnist and UK teacher