My Vision for the NEA
Dear NEA Member:
I am a candidate for NEA Executive Committee because I believe that the knowledge, skills and experiences I have acquired as Massachusetts Teachers Association President, Vice President, large urban local leader, classroom teacher, lawyer and public school parent have prepared me to help lead our national association through what are some of the most challenging times and circumstances we have faced as a union and a profession.
The NEA and its state affiliates must accept that we are a union of professional educators and that we serve a dual purpose. We must use our collective power as an organization to fight for the economic interests of our members and workers in general; however, we must also use that same power to advocate for the best interests of our students and organize around professional issues.
Our members are looking to the NEA, state and local affiliates to take the lead on professional issues and to be the voice of the education professions. No other organization can equal the professionalism, depth and diversity of experience of our members. We are the experts. We must be more vocal and explicit in setting a proactive agenda: a student-centered and union-led agenda.
Whether advocating for students, protecting collective bargaining rights, participating in collective action, advancing our profession, fighting to increase funding for public education, addressing major flaws in state and national education policies, or electing pro-public education officials, the key to our success is engaging, educating, organizing and mobilizing our members and the public at large to take action in support of public education.
With three million members, we are the largest educational organization and largest independent union in the nation. Being the biggest, however, is not enough!
To be successful and relevant in the future, the NEA must:
- Build and strengthen our political and grassroots organizing structure to elect candidates who will support public education at every level.
- Promote and support locals and districts in developing strong labor/management relationships focused on improving student achievement through collective bargaining and/or collective action.
- Engage a new generation of educators and education support professionals in a deeper and more meaningful manner.
- Provide members with training, tools and support to help them improve their practices and prepare them for the future leadership of our organization.
- Invest in and employ new media and technologies to better communicate with the public and our members.
- Increase outreach to parent, labor, community, education, business and faith-based organizations to develop strong partnerships and coalitions to advance and support public education.
This work is happening all over the country in many of our locals and state affiliates. NEA officers and Executive Committee members must support and promote the excellent work that is going on by working with the NEA Board, state and local affiliate leaders and active and retired members to expand upon these successes and to be the primary voice and advocate for our students and our profession.
Thank you and please vote for Paul Toner for NEA Executive Committee at the Representative Assembly in Denver!
- My Qualifications for the NEA Executive Committee
- My Educational Background and Experience as an Educator
- My Experience as a Local, State and National Union Leader