“We need to stand together and when we do, we do great things,” NEA Executive Committee member Greg Johnson told CEA-Retired members this morning. Johnson, a high school choir director in Mustang, Oklahoma, was the keynote speaker at the CEA-Retired Annual Spring Business Meeting.
Johnson thanked retired educators for their many years of service as active educators and talked about how, even in their post-classroom lives, retired members’ contributions are vital to the Association.
“We can’t do what we do without you,” CEA President Sheila Cohen said. “Whatever the issue, from SBAC to pensions to charter transparency and beyond, we can’t do what we do unless we’re together and united.”
Cohen told retired members she hopes to see them at the State Capitol in Hartford on May 12 for the rally to reduce unnecessary testing.
“We once believed that if we elected good, pro-public education politicians they would make good policy, we’d have good policies for students, students would succeed, and the public’s support for public education would increase,” Johnson said.
“We now know that that top down theory is not enough,” he continued. “We now know politicians can’t be counted on — they choose quick and easy solutions when such solutions are dangled in front of them.”
Johnson said authentic answers come from the classroom up, rather than the top down. “Our members must have a voice. The answers to our challenges are not in Washington, D.C. The answers are coming from our classrooms and our communities.”
And that’s certainly true in Connecticut. CEA-Retired President Gloria Brown said, “More and more retired educators are joining CEA-Retired, advocating on behalf of teachers and students, and making a difference.”