Teachers’ Unions, Teachers’ Rights, Teachers’ Voice

Session Presenters: Mike Klonsky and Lee Barrios
Panelists: Fred Klonsky, Dr. Michael A. Walker Jones, and Xian Barrett
Session Type(s): Presentation
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2012
Time: 9:45 – 11:15 AM
Room: To Be Arranged

The Labor Workshop will begin with a panel of teacher union activists, including Michael Walker-Jones, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Educators, Fred Klonsky, Chicago activist and former local union president of the Park Ridge Education Association, and Xian Barrett, a Representative from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)). SOS Steering Committee members Mike Klonsky and Lee Barrios will moderate and act as respondents.

The panel discussion will focus on hot-topic issues relating to the defense of teachers collective bargaining rights in the face of the current assault on unions. The discussion will be followed by a workshop discussion leading to an action plan for the coming year and a resolution to be adopted by the convention.

Michael A. Walker-Jones

Dr. Michael A. Walker-Jones – Executive Director, Louisiana Association of Educators

Dr. Michael A. Walker-Jones is an honor graduate of the University of Rochester, New York, and holds a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum, Human Learning, and Education Policy.

Dr. Walker-Jones has been an advocate for teachers and students through the Kentucky Education Association and the Arkansas Education Association where he became an FOB, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association where he served as regional manager excelling in staff development, motivation and coaching skills.

As a trained Arbitrator and conflict resolution specialist, he settled over 120 individual, gang, labor, and civil disputes while he was active in that area during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. He is currently the Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Educators where he continues to be an outspoken advocate for public education and the elimination of violence through effective interpersonal communication skills and conflict resolutions processes

Fred Klonsky

Fred Klonsky – Chicago Activist and Former Local Union President

Fred Klonsky taught Art for nearly 30 years in a Chicago suburban school district. A life-long political activist, he was president for ten years of the Park Ridge Education Association, an affiliate of the Illinois Education Association and the National Education Association. Retired since June 8th, he is presently engaged in the fight to preserve teacher pensions, support for the Chicago Teachers Union and in the defense of union collective bargaining rights in Illinois. You can read his daily posts on his blog: FredKlonsky.com
On Twitter…@fklonsky

Michael Klonsky

Michael Klonsky, Ph.D. – Save Our Schools National Steering Committee

Michael Klonsky, Ph.D. teaches in the College of Education at DePaul University in Chicago. He currently serves as the national director of the Small Schools Workshop and on the national steering committee of Save Our Schools (SOS).

Dr. Klonsky is a teacher educator who has spoken and written extensively on school reform issues with a focus on urban school restructuring. His book (with Susan Klonsky), Small Schools: Public School Reform Meets the Ownership Society (Routledge), is a critique of top-down school reform and the push towards privatization of public schools. He is also the author Small Schools: The Numbers Tell a Story (University of Illinois Small Schools Workshop) and co-editor of A Simple Justice: The Challenge for Teachers in Small Schools (Teachers College Press).

Dr. Klonsky is also the father of three daughters who all attended Chicago Public Schools (two of whom teach in the system) and the grandfather of a CPS 6th grader.

On Twitter…@mikeklonsky

Lee Barrios

Lee Barrios. – Save Our Schools National Steering Committee

Lee Barrios, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was an “Air Force brat” who lived in numerous states and Europe. She worked in the private sector for 25 years, raised three children, and then returned to school to become a teacher. Lee has an undergraduate degree in English and Journalism Educ. and received a M.Ed. in Secondary Education. She received her National Board Certification in 2003, and was PTA State Educator of Distinction 2004/05.

After 17 years of teaching, Lee is now retired. She remains active in education as a lobbyist and advocate for public education in Louisiana and is currently a candidate for the Louisiana State Board of Elementary & Secondary Education District 1. Lee is a founding member of Louisiana Coalition for Public Education and is Vice Pres. of St. TAmmany Association for Gifted/Talented Education. She is the former President of Louisiana Dressage & Combined Training Association and the former co-district commissioner of the U. S. Pony Clubs local affiliate.

Lee has served as SOS Information Coordinator (IC) for Louisiana, and has provided guidance and information on issues of legislation and lobbying to her fellow ICs. She works tirelessly on behalf of all students in her state.

Xian Barrett

Xian Barrett – Chicago Teachers Union, Policy Director, Political Director

Xian Barrett served as the Chicago Teachers Union Policy Director and Political Director. He worked with elected officials to advocate for a better educational system for our students, communities and the educators who devote our lives to our society’s children. Xian is a Teacher at Julian High School and a proud member of CORE—a group in the Chicago Teachers Union not afraid to fight for the community and the students of Chicago. Most of all, Xian Barrett says, “I’m an adult ally for Chicago Youth Initiating Change, a student group.”

On Twitter…@xianb8