Councilmember Jackson honored with UFT’s highest award
Story by Sandra E. García
New York City Councilmember Robert Jackson will receive the United Teachers Federation’s (UFT) most prestigious award, the John Dewey Award for Excellence, at the UFT’s Spring Conference, which is to be held on Sat., May 12th at the New York Hilton.
The chair of the Council’s Education Committee will be honored for his advocacy on behalf of New York City School students.
“I am greatly honored to be the recipient of one of the highest honors awarded by the United Federation of Teachers. The John Dewey Award echoes the teachings of its namesake reflecting a civic purpose that aims to reform the education landscape,” said Councilmember Jackson. “I hope to live up to the John Dewey’s philosophy of making it possible for everyone to reach their full potential and acquire the skills to make valuable contributions to society.”
John Dewey, the American philosopher and educational reformer born in 1859, was one of the foremost proponents of progressive education and liberalism. Dewey argued for schools as fundamental to the success of a civil society and democracy.
Councilmember Jackson began his career in 1980 as a member of the Parents Association at PS/IS 187 in Manhattan.
After being elected to Community School Board 6 in 1986, he and attorney Michael Rebell founded the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in 1991. Jackson was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against New York State for failing to properly fund the city’s public schools.
Jackson walked 150 miles from New York City to Albany to dramatize the case, which proved successful.
“For more than 30 years, Robert Jackson has been fighting for New York City’s public school children and has championed many causes that have improved education in this city,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.
Other recipients of the Dewey Award include Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Norman Thomas and former President Bill Clinton.
“I started the Campaign for Fiscal Equity by walking 150 miles from New York City to Albany to advocate for our children’s education,” noted Councilmember Jackson. “I will always maintain that education is the key to uplift ourselves. This walk is still not over!”