“People, Not Profits”: The Professional Organizations We Need
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“People, Not Profits”: The Professional Organizations We Need

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This article uses a scrapbook design to narrate the authors’ experiences protesting the use of high-stakes performance assessments in teacher preparation programs by engaging in demonstrations during—and proposing policy at—the annual conventions of a large national teachers’ organization. These narrations are used to raise questions about how professional education organizations define advocacy at a time when neoliberal education reforms limit educators’ capacity to carry out our collective responsibilities to marginalized and vulnerable youth. The authors suggest that in the current political climate that has dehumanized youth, demoralized their teachers, and disempowered teacher educators, educators need professional organizations that explicitly name injustices associated with the reductive curricula and for-profit tests that are hindering local teachers’ and teacher educators’ responsiveness to learners and engagement with democratic processes. In response to these injustices, the authors argue that teachers’ professional organizations must do far more to work boldly both against the de-professionalization of educators and toward a re-professionalization of educators that centers rather than marginalizes advocacy and activism.

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