Tuesday’s Teacher Appreciation Day was marked by cards, candy, and 11,000 petitions dropped on a state superintendent’s doorstep. Washington Education Association members took advantage of the day to express how unappreciated they were feeling, writing letters of protest about State Superintendent Terry Bergeson’s inability to increase teacher pay and alleged unyielding attitude toward state testing. The situation is especially ironic because Bergeson is a former president of WEA. “We have a funding crisis in Washington and that’s not all her fault but she certainly bears some of the responsibility so again we’re calling for new leadership from her in her office,” says current WEA President Charles Hasse, who adds that the union feels let down because Bergeson is not listening to educators. “I think I am a very very strong leader and I wish that I could have delivered more to teachers in terms of salaries,” Bergeson counters, “but there’s nobody who works harder and works smarter than I do to get this to happen.” Washington teachers say the they are not calling for Bergeson’s resignation, but merely issuing a warning.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.