Teachers Practice MicroPolitics*

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Besides managing a classroom of 20 to 30 or more students, besides teaching lessons every day, teachers also practice politics.

Arguing that superintendents and principals, in addition to their managerial and instructional roles, are political in leading districts and schools is credible because of all the stakeholders involved in districts and schools. Those stakeholders have to be mobilized, massaged, and influenced—given the value conflicts over which goals to pursue, how much money to spend, how to teach, what students should learn, and how much testing to do–all of which naturally divide voters and parents. But putting politics and teaching together? That’s a bit too much. I know this is going to be a hard sell but bear with me.

In previous posts on principals and their political role I pointed out that at the end of the 19th century big-city Republican and Democratic political machines handed out teacher, principal, and…

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