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Re: AFT official speaks out...
I am the NEA.
I am a full-time teacher (with a combination first/second grade this year).
I am president of my local union, and have been for enough years that one
of my most important tasks is to develop new leaders to take my place. I am
one of about one thousand teachers who hold some kind of statewide
leadership position in the California Teachers Association, an affiliate of
the NEA. And I have been a delegate to the last several Representative
Assemblies of the NEA, where the union annually sets its policy, and where
I have successfully introduced resolutions, new business items, and
amendments to the legislative program dealing with assessment and
particularly with high stakes testing.
I'm a little tired right now because I've just returned from a weekend away
from home at CTA's State Council, where we debated policy and took
positions on legislation affecting everything from student safety to career
and technical education. I apologize for not remembering where you work and
what you do. Do you teach in a state with collective bargaining? Teachers
in my district have prep periods because of a union contract, and without
the contract our superintendent would take them away immediately. Under
California's class size reduction program, primary classes are limited to
20 students. That's a lot bigger than it should be, but without CTA that
law would have been changed last year to allow at least four more students
in each class. Teachers who allow students to read Huckleberry Finn and
Harry Potter are protected by the union from firing. We could make a list a
hundred items long, but it is no exaggeration to say that every right
teachers have came either through collective bargaining or through the
union's legislative action.
Of course a union has to be accountable to its members. No other
large-scale institution in America, including our government at the state
and federal levels, is nearly as democratic as the union to which I belong.
I am the NEA, and so are 2.7 million other teachers and school employees.
At 04:08 AM 3/28/2004 -0500, Kristina Pelletier wrote:
I am not wanting to bash teacher unions like the AFT and NEA, but I am
hard time figuring out how they are working for teachers. It seems like they
are using teachers for their organizational purposes. Why is the AFT
in "accountability and raising standards for students and teachers alike"?
did it become the unions role to work on reform that will hold teachers
accountable to the system? I'm probably not making much sense. My point is,
teachers should be holding the union accountable, and not the other way
I would like to understand how ANY teachers union has improved the
conditions for educators. If anyone has an example, I would love to here it.
Cool, California 95614
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