3/25/2010 10:15:00 AM
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Albert Shanker (1928–1997) had activism in his veins. During his undergraduate years at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champagne, Shanker picketed segregated movie theaters and restaurants and joined several socialist clubs. He taught for seven years in the New York City school system, where he devoted increasing time to union work. He was president of the local United Federation of Teachers for 12 years and of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 until his death. But Shanker was also a proponent of accountability, calling for national teaching standards, charter schools, responsibility for results, peer review, and minimum-competency testing of new teachers.