It’s Not About Recognizing Achievement or the Kids

Peter Mili, a longtime active Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and retired mathematics teacher, put a motion before the MTA to congratulate Sydney Chafee on her election to Teacher of the Year. But MTA teacher union officials turned the motion down flat because it’s not about recognizing achievement and it’s not about the kids.  It’s about teacher union power and how to keep it.  If they recognized the accomplishments of a nonunion teacher that might be tantamount to acknowledging union membership is not necessary in order to get or keep a teaching job. The Massachusetts Teachers Association teacher union officials force teachers to pay up or be fired.  They’re not about to congratulate a nonunion teacher.   National Education Association president Lily Eskelson Garcia, however praised Chaffee’s achievements.  Michael Jonas has the story in

Delegates at the Massachusetts Teachers Association annual state convention last Saturday voted down a motion to “publicly and formally congratulate and recognize Sydney Chaffee” on receiving the award.

The motion to recognize a nationally-recognized classroom instructor from Boston would appear to be the most uncontroversial proposal that could be brought forward to a gathering of Massachusetts teachers. What turned the resolution into a contested issue at the convention is the fact that Chaffee teaches at a charter school.