Madeloni and Anderson plan to press for enactment of moratorium
Q: Our mission statement has three things that are
listed as important to the MTA: quality education,
the economic interests of our members, and social
justice. What are your thoughts on those three and
the relative weight the MTA should give them?
MADELONI: I think it’s really important that
they’re not rank-ordered. They’re connected. You
need one to have the other.
ANDERSON: I agree. You can’t have great public
schools and high-quality education if you’re not
willing to give educators a decent contract that’s
going to retain and attract quality educators.
Q: Unions are under attack, and not just in
Wisconsin. Any thoughts on how we change the
image of educators’ unions?
MADELONI: The stronger our unions are, the
stronger everyone is. We need to show how our
interests are connected to the broader issues of
quality public education and social justice.
ANDERSON: We need to help the public realize
that our unions are made up of educators. They’re
made up of that teacher who brings clothes for a
kid so he has something to wear. They’re made up
of educators who bring in food for those kids who
maybe don’t have enough food at home.
Q: You talk about corporate influence on education.
What do you mean by that, and what can we do
MADELONI: Educators are under assault. The
public sector in general is under assault by people
who are looking to privatize public spaces and, in
particular, to privatize public education — to profit
from the public dollar and to bust our unions.
Q: Janet, what do Taunton educators want from their
ANDERSON: They want advocacy on public
school issues. They want somebody to fight high-
stakes testing. They want some relief from things
like RETELL. They don’t want test results used in
educator evaluation. They also want a good contract.
They want good wages and benefits, so it’s all of
Q: What will you start tackling first?
ANDERSON: One of the new business items
at the Annual Meeting called for a moratorium on
high-stakes testing and the use of it in decisions and
teacher evaluations. I would really want to work on
that because I think that’s doable; I think we can
MADELONI: I agree. I think that’s very doable,
and I think we can do that not only in Massachusetts
but can connect it to a larger national movement with
parents and teachers across the country to say “no” to
My really deep goal is to have members talking
to members about the kinds of experiences we’re
having in the workplace, about what that means
for our hopes and dreams for public education,
and, from that, grow much stronger ties with the
community so together we can fight for the things
that we care about.
The stronger our unions are, the stronger
everyone is. We need to show how our
interests are connected to the broader issues
of quality public education and social justice.
— MTA President Barbara Madeloni
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