This weekend the Massachusetts Teachers Association held it’s annual meeting of delegates. During this meeting they voted on a resolution that was presented by two retired MTA teachers from Cambridge and Belmont seeking to recognize Sydney Chaffee — the Codman Academy teacher who has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year for 2017.
The motion went down in flames. No recognition and no congratulations from the MTA.
Here’s the resolution:
1) Sydney is the first teacher from Massachusetts ever to be honored as National Teacher of the Year — since back to 1952.
2) This also breaks with tradition by the Massachusetts Teachers Association to extend an invitation to the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year to attend and address the body for 20 minutes at their annual convention. (Usually with a stipend and paid hotel room in Boston as well.)
Seriously, MTA? You can’t even congratulate the woman for being recognized as the top educator in the nation?
Word on the street is that President Madeloni pulled out all the stops to block the resolution from passing — forcing the item into the new business portion of the meeting when most delegates had already left instead of as pending business as it had been addressed in years past to make sure there was full participation of the body. Barbara apparently even got up and lied to the membership about the Council of Chief State School Officers being a collection of "corporate sell-outs" who selected Sydney because of question 2 and their love for charter schools/Charlie Baker/Donald Trump.
For the record, here’s the organizations who selected Sydney as teacher of the year who Barbara Madeloni has deemed "corporate sell-outs":
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)American Association of School Administrators (AASA)American Federation of Teachers (AFT)Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)Association for Middle Level EducationASCDAssociation of Teacher Educators (ATE)Educators RisingNational Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)National Education Association (NEA )National PTANational School Boards Association (NSBA)National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA)The Business RoundtablePrevious National Teacher of the Year
The bottom line is this: Sydney Chaffee is an excellent teacher who is doing an amazing job for our children. If you are in education because you care about children, and not just your own self-interest and who belongs to your little clique, recognizing someone who excels in your profession should be a no-brainer.
Sydney is making it happen for our kids — and yes, teaches in a charter school — and for that? She must be punished.
Here’s a clue: parents don’t care about your little turf wars and political fiefdoms. We want great teachers. We want great schools that work for our kids. We don’t care what you call the building. We care about what’s happening inside of it — and whether or not our children are going to leave with a foundation of knowledge that prepares them for the future. Every kid. Not just some of them. We don’t care if you’re married to your time-held traditions because "we’ve always done it that way" and are afraid of innovation in education because you think new = scary. Our education system is not about you. It’s about our children. Get over yourselves.
Teaching at a different type of public school does not make you less of a teacher. Being a union teacher doesn’t make you better or more qualified.
To use this as an opportunity for petty political games and sniping? Gross.
Shame on you, Massachusetts Teachers Association.
And what’s next, Barbara? Are you going to try to block Sydney from being recognized and addressing the NEA Annual Meeting in June?
What do you think?