A new programme has been set up at New Jersey City University to plot new directions for teacher unions in the US. The programme aims to encourage discussion between scholars, teacher union and community activists, and will be producing a series of policy briefings.

In its first policy paper the project looks at the ways in which teacher unions need to change if they are to make common cause with community activists, particularly those of colour, campaigning for properly funded and democratic education for their children.

The project director is Dr Lois Weiner, who has a long history in both teacher education and teacher unionism and the advisory board covers a rich variety of different experiences, including a founding member of the Chicago CORE group, a leader of one of the most active school students unions in the country and a board member of the pioneering journal for radical educators, Rethinking Schools.

Teachersolidarity will be watching the development of the project with interest, since we are sure it will have many lessons for teacher trade unions globally and the urgent need both for increased democracy and for change in the ways we organise and develop.