“All across the country, you are demonstrating that we have the resolve to fight for what’s right for our students and educators, the resilience to take a hit and bounce back, the audacity to demand respect, and the relentless will to win,” NEA Executive Director John Stocks told delegates at the NEA Representative Assembly (RA) Monday.
“In school after school, campus after campus, local after local, state after state, it is you who are giving voice to the needs of our students, educators, and public education,” he said.
Stocks specifically recognized the teachers in the Connecticut delegation for one of the important victories educators have achieved in recent months. He led the more than 7,500 delegates from across the country in applauding CEA’s success in preventing 22.5 percent of teachers’ evaluations from being tied to state mastery test scores.
Although teachers face an uphill battle given the Trump administration’s stance on public education and the Supreme Court’s anti-union leaning, RA speakers reminded delegates that they do have real power as union members and respected members of their communities.
NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said that those who support the Trump agenda “will try to take away your freedom to organize. They will try to take away your freedom to negotiate with a collective voice. They will try to silence us because when we win, the entire community wins. Working people who don’t even have access to a union win, because we’re there to fight for their kids’ schools and affordable college and affordable health care; for their Social Security and Medicare; for a living wage and the ability to support our families. So they want us stopped.”
But, she added, “They won’t succeed. Because we know in our bones who we are. And we will tell every new colleague the truth about who we are: We are the members of the National Education Association. We are the voice of education professionals. Our work is fundamental to the nation, and we accept the profound trust that is placed in us.”
The NEA RA runs through July 5. Stay tuned for more NEA RA news here at BlogCEA, and by visiting http://ra.nea.org.