January 21, 2013
My candidate's statement which will appear on the WEA's Representative Assembly's website:
As a classroom teacher for 30 years and a local association president for 10 years, I am running to be president of the WEA for two primary reasons. First, I believe that public education has suffered during the past 20 years due to misguided and damaging education reforms. And, second, I believe that WEA has been complicit or insufficiently effective in advocating for our core values in that decline.
I seek to turn the direction of our organization from a calculated strategy that welcomes and traffics in collusion, to a clear-headed and principled vision that uses every resource to change the dominant narrative arrayed against us. It is time—way past time—finally, inexorably, and unalterably to say “no”—not “no, but” or “no, and” but simply “no.”
Our leaders have been duped and in turn have frittered away not only our real and vital influence, but have endorsed those insidious and corrosive initiatives which have weakened public education. In every sphere today, we are weaker: our salaries have been cut, our retirement system is one of the least favorable in the entire country, curriculum has been narrowed, the arts sidelined, a testing and data regimen blessed, and a corporate model supported. Now we are even arguing with—not against—those who want full implementation and funding for a new evaluation system, a system which desperately tries to reduce the irreducible to a number, namely good teaching.