Sandra Feldman, in memoriam
September 21, 2005
Sandra Feldman was a brilliant and dedicated teacher unionist. From her earliest days in the civil rights movement, she exhibited intelligence, courage, and leadership. She was one of Albert Shanker's closest associates, and she shared his passion for democracy and civil rights.
As president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, she was an outspoken advocate for better education and a fearless defender of teachers' rights. Having lived through the contentious teachers' strikes of the late 1960s, she was wary of any effort to remove due process protections from her membership. As president of the American Federation of Teachers, Sandy Feldman was a powerful supporter of efforts to raise educational standards. She was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, of course, but she defended No Child Left Behind, realizing its potential to direct more attention and resources to the neediest students.
Like her mentor Al Shanker, Sandy Feldman was actively involved in efforts to promote democracy in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and wherever it was denied. She cared about children and teachers. Her clear, strong, and sensible voice will be missed.
She lived her final days as she lived her life: with courage, humor, and strength in the face of adversity.