A former vice president of the American Federation of Teachers for 20 years, Herb Magidson began union work as a high school chapter chairman in the United Federation of Teachers in New York City. In 1969, he moved on to become an assistant to the then UFT president, Albert Shanker. Since that time, his union career has spanned officerships of the New York State United Teachers, the New York State AFL-CIO, and pension and health insurance plans servicing union members. As a member of the AFT Executive Council, her served as chairman of the AFT’s “Futures II” Committee, the AFT Democracy Committee, and the AFT Committee on Political Education.
Current education policies haven’t sufficiently leveraged the organizational and interpersonal aspects of schools which can benefit educators and students collectively. Instead, the focus has been primarily on technical and individual-level approaches. However, a focus on individuals seems insufficient and limited; a simultaneous and equally strong focus on strengthening the organizations where teachers work appears sorely needed.