The norm of participation means that citizens expect their democratic government to welcome their taking part in the policymaking process. This chapter illustrates how American democracy encourages interest groups to form and explores the development of the American teachers' unions as education's dominant interest group. It explains how groups transform individual desires into group preferences by way of a bargain. In return for political clout, individuals surrender some individual identity and make the implicit promise to support or oppose a group's political agenda. Groups like teachers' unions lobby for equal treatment of their members by some public policy, but they strongly prefer that the public policy benefit only group members, a goal that places participation in direct conflict with the norms of equality and inclusion. The chapter shows how the fights over merit pay and collective bargaining are not so much over whether unions should protect incompetent teachers as over how to define an incompetent teacher.