Published Online:


Albert Shanker

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Sept. 14, 1928-Feb. 22, 1997

1946: Graduates from Stuyvesant High School, New York City.

1949: Graduates from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

1949: Enters Columbia University to study philosophy.

1952: Takes "a lousy job'' as a substitute teacher at PS 179 in East Harlem.

1959: Quits job teaching mathematics at Manhattan junior high school to become full-time organizer for the Teacher's Guild, a predecessor of the United Federation of Teachers.

1960: Helps lead one-day strike that produced nation's first collective-bargaining agreement for teachers.

1964: Elected president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City.

1965: Marches with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala.

1967: Jailed during New York City strike for smaller class sizes, more money for education.

1968: Jailed for 15 days after divisive Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike.

1970: Launches "Where We Stand'' column, a paid weekly advertisement.

1973: Elected to AFL-CIO's executive council.

1973: Lampooned in Woody Allen's movie "Sleeper'' as a madman who destroyed civilization with a nuclear warhead.

1974: Elected to first term as president of the American Federation of Teachers; remains president of the UFT.

1975: Agrees after five-day strike to have the UFT's pension system bail out New York City by buying Municipal Assistance Corporation bonds.

1983: Calls A Nation at Risk findings "basically a good report''; urges teacher testing, higher salaries.

1985: Delivers "The Making of a Profession'' speech urging teachers to embrace career ladders, merit pay, and "radical restructuring'' of schools.

1986: Steps down as president of the UFT.

1992: Leads AFT members to adopt statement calling for improving American schools so that they are at least as effective as traditional schools in other industrialized countries.

1995: Launches union's "Lessons for Life'' campaign, urging higher standards of conduct and achievement for U.S. students.

Web Only

Related Stories
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories