John Wilson is the former Executive Director of the National Education Association. Before that he led the N.C. Association of Educators. He taught special education for 23 years. He is a past chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the Learning First Alliance, and the N.C. Covenant for Children.
Wilson posted on his blog at Ed Week some of his thoughts about last Tuesday’s election.
They are worth reading.
I hope teachers take a lot of heart and a few lessons from the 2012 election. Lesson 1: Your voice matters, individually and collectively through your association or union. Lesson 2: You do not have to accept bad legislation. Challenge it through the proposition process, the courts, or the next election by ousting those who proposed it. Lesson 3: Uniting teachers nationally and contributing to a PAC allows you to pool resources to fight and defeat the billionaires who have been given new power under Citizens United. Lesson 4: All politics really is local and your power comes from influencing voters in your neighborhood and school district. Lesson 5: Our collective power through a strong and democratic union that is student-centered increases our credibility with voters.
We became teachers to make a difference for students. Let’s assure our political participation has the same goal, and then voters will be our best partners.