In the 1973 movie classic "Sleeper," Woody Allen plays a New York health food store owner who wakes up 200 years in the future, in a desolate environment.
"What happened to New York?" he asks the character played by Diane Keaton. She replies, "It was destroyed. Some guy named Al Shanker got hold of a nuclear weapon."
I think every member of the American Federation of Teachers knows this line. Firebrand educator Al Shanker, founder of the AFT, would never have hurt anyone. But short of that, he would do whatever it took to fight for teachers' rights, and most importantly, for the rights of students to receive a great education. In fact, he saw that the only way for teachers to receive the respect, fair treatment, and adequate compensation they deserved, and still deserve, was to demonstrate that they had skills not possessed by the general public that could have powerful impacts on students' learning.
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