Civil Discourse Prompts
Are teachers entitled to walk off the job?
When does teacher activism alienate a community?
How do we weigh student suffering against legitimate activist goals?
Frederick M. Hess Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies
American Enterprise Institute

Frederick “Rick” M. Hess is a resident scholar and the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of Education Week’s blog “Rick Hess Straight Up” and is a regular contributor to Forbes and The Hill. His books include “Letters to a Young Education Reformer,” “Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned” and “Cage-Busting Leadership.” He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.

Emily Anne Gullickson Co-founder & Executive Director
A for Arizona

Using her experience as a middle school teacher, legal advocate and policy leader, Emily Anne is devoted to changing the narrative of what’s possible for Arizona. At A for Arizona, Emily Anne has designed, implemented and facilitated solutions to rapidly increase the number of low-income students attending Arizona’s best public schools. Today she leads her staff and countless community partners who are committed to driving opportunity and economic prosperity in Arizona.

Teacher activism that puts kids — not grown-ups — first.
In the spring of 2018, Arizona teachers amplified their voices calling for an increase in K-12 funding and, specifically, teacher pay. What began as a grassroots effort swelled to become the largest teacher strike in state history as teachers took to the streets to push for raises and more classroom funding. This all took place against the backdrop of other teacher walkouts happening around the country. The unprecedented activism drew attention and gave school boards, parents, community members and the state’s elected leaders ample time to think while Arizona public schools ground to a halt for more than a week.

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