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Past Events


Past Event

Labor Law Reform in China: What Are The Implications for Worker Rights? For Political Liberalization?

The Shanker Institute sponsored a seminar on January 15–16, 2008 in Washington, D.C. focused on the implications and impact of recently enacted labor law reform in China entitled “Labor Law Reform in China: What are the Implications for Worker Rights? For Political Liberalization?” 


Past Event

Good Schools I / Unions, Teaching Quality and Student Achievement

This is the first in a series of two-day seminars, designed to help build a network of union leaders, district superintendents, and researchers to work collaboratively on improving public education through a focus on teaching.


Past Event

What Do We Really Know About High School Dropout Rates & What Can Be Done To Improve Them?

The reliability of the data on high school dropout and graduation rates and the best way to calculate them have recently become the subject of intense debate, often generating more heat than light.


Past Event

Middle East Leadership Study Trip

The Albert Shanker Institute, in partnership with the AFT, organized an eight-person union leadership study trip to the Middle East in May 2007.


Past Event

The Challenge for Democracy in the Middle East: The Art of the Possible

The Institute sponsored this conference on the challange of developing practical international programs to implement the traditional commitment of the labor movement to democracy and democratic institutions in the core Middle East region. It challenged participants to help conceive innovative, practical program approaches for the Middle East region.


Past Event

Performance-Based Pay in Public Education

Across the country, policymakers are promoting or implementing plans to encourage excellent teaching by linking some portion of teachers’ pay to their performance or to the performance of their schools or students. While these proposals have generated a lot of heated discussion, most of the debate has centered around issues of theory or politics, not efficacy. What is the empirical evidence on the effects of performance-based pay plans, in general? In the public sector? In education? And what can research and experience tell us about the factors that make the implementation of some plans more or less successful?


Past Event

Background Knowledge & Reading Proficiency

Research has demonstrated that students’ vocabulary and background knowledge are vital to reading comprehension, and that poor children and struggling readers are disproportionately disadvantaged by this fact. What are the implications of these findings for improving curriculum and instruction at the elementary and secondary levels? And how do schools impart this knowledge to students who don’t read well enough to acquire it from the written word?


Past Event

Democracy and Worker Rights: A Discussion of Labor's Approach to China

On April 6-7, 2006, the Institute sponsored a lively discussion among representatives from nine AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions on the U.S.labor movement’s differing approaches to the increasing economic dominance of an ongoing worker rights repression in mainland China. After opening remarks by AFT and Shanker Institute President McElroy, participants heard from two prominent China experts, Andrew Nathan (Columbia University) and James Mann (School for Advanced International Studies).


Past Event

Improving the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

Despite the continuing “math wars” debates, there is an emerging consensus on the need for U.S. math teachers to improve both their content and pedagogical knowledge. Key researchers (who were selected using an informal peer review process) have been asked to provide an overview on recent research about what mathematics teachers ned to know and be able to do to improve the performance of all students.


Past Event

Reading Disabilities, Reading Difficulties & School-Based Interventions that Work

The importance of early reading success to later educational achievement has now become common wisdom. Federal agencies, state governments, and individual schools and districts across the country have initiated programs to improve beginning reading instruction, including strategies to identify struggling readers as early as possible. But what comes next?


Past Event

Unionism and Democracy: The Experience, the Legacy, The Future

The Institute received a grant from the ILGWU Heritage Fund in April 2005 to help sponsor this three-day seminar aimed at educating new AFT leaders on the rationale and history behind labor’s support for democracy and worker rights in the world.


Past Event

Early Childhood Assessments: Problems & Possibilities

With increased support for and public investment in early childhood education programs, federal, state, and local authorities have begun to grapple with the need to assess student outcomes, for diagnostic, accountability and program improvement purposes. At the same time, critics continue to raise questions about the appropriateness, validity, and utility of assessments with very young children: How accurate is the data that’s being gathered through various methods and for what purposes can it legitimately be used? What can research tell us about how to design assessments for preschool children that are reasonable, reliable, valid, and useful for teachers and policymakers alike?


Past Event

Seminar on Education to Build Democracy

On May 6, 2003, the institute hosted a forum on international civic education. An invited group of academics, program developers, and leaders from the AFT, the U.S. State Dept., USAID, the National Democratic Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, the AFL-CIO, and private industry attended the Washington, DC, meeting, to discuss effective program design, content, and strategy for civic education and democracy promotion abroad. The meeting provided those who are involved – funders, researchers, and practitioners – with a chance to share their knowledge and experience. According to participants, the seminar was unprecedented in its promotion of open nteraction among the many diverse elements of the civic education community.


Past Event

Bayard Rustin Film Premiere

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin On January 8, 2003, the Institute jointly hosted the Washington premiere of “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” at the National Press Club, with the AFL-CIO, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Freedom House, the Rustin Fund, the International Rescue Committee, Social Democrats, U.S.A., the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, AFT President Sandra Feldman, and U.S. Representatives John Lewis and Eleanor Holmes Norton.


Past Event

Unions and Workforce Development (a discussion with John Monks)

A 2003 luncheon discussion on the revitalization of the labor movement featured John Monks, general secretary of Britain's Trades Union Congress (TUC).


Past Event

Strategies to improve student behavior and support student achievement

What can research tell us about early assessment and prevention practices that improve student behavior and student academic performance? What does research tell us about effective practices in classrooms and schools?


Past Event

'Shanker Lecture' Given By Hong Kong Democracy Leader

The late Szeto Wah, founder of Hong Kong's teachers' union, was the featured speaker at the Institute's Albert Shanker Lecture on May 15, 2002.


Past Event

Early Language & Literacy Development

Part of the Research to What Works luncheon seies, this discussion highlighted what is known about the language and literacy development of young, preschool-age children and how does this relate to their long-term success in school.


Past Event

Bridging the Gap Between State Standards and Classroom Achievement: A Forum

Unless states step in to help turn standards into the tools that schools need, the promise of standards-based reform will be lost.


Past Event

Seminar on Workforce Development

Research has shown that most corporations would be better off if they stopped raiding one another for superstar staff and concentrated on identifying and developing the talents of their current workforce.


Past Event

Education and Care for Children in their Preschool Years

This conference, involving participants with a wide range of viewpoints, was designed to elicit discussion about what the academic core of high-quality preschool programs should entail and how it should be delivered.


Past Event

The Intersection of Democracy and Public Education

The Shanker Institute and Education International are both celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2023. Both organizations share a common origin, Albert Shanker cofounded EI and was the inspiration for the ASI. To recognize the common origin and priorities of each organization, strengthening public education and committed to democracy, this Panel Discussion & Anniversary Celebration of the Albert Shanker Institute (25 Years) and Education International (30 Years) was held ahead of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession to take advantage of both organizations’ leaders being in Washington, DC at the same time.