Book Forum

The Politics of the PTA

(Transaction, 2003)

March 13, 2003 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring the author, Charlene Haar; with comments by Gail Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor; and Lori Yaklin, U.S. Department of Education.

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The Parent‐​Teacher Association (PTA) is often viewed as a beneficent group of parents dedicated to helping pupils achieve more. In this groundbreaking new book, Charlene Haar critically assesses the PTA and shows that these common perceptions of the organization are misguided. When the National PTA addresses important issues, Haar contends, its positions merely echo the views of the powerful teacher unions. Haar shows how the PTA’s domination by the teacher unions has eroded its commitment to educational achievement and the well‐​being of children. She is the first educational analyst to closely examine the history and policies of the PTA. Her book provides valuable insights into the politics and practices of an organization that has officially adopted a ?neutral” position on conflicts between the school board and teacher unions, no matter how harmful to pupil interests.