Teaching Profession

Leadership Jobs Top Agendas for NEA, AFT

By Vaishali Honawar — June 17, 2008 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The most important topic at the annual conventions of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers next month will no doubt be the election of new leaders. But officials also expect lively debates on resolutions and initiatives on subjects ranging from the No Child Left Behind Act to union-district partnership initiatives.

Dennis Van Roekel, the vice president of the NEA, is expected to succeed Reg Weaver as president, while Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT’s New York City affiliate, is almost certain to succeed Edward J. McElroy as the leader of the 1.4 million-member union.

For the AFT, this is a historic year: Women are expected to fill the top three positions. Besides Ms. Weingarten, Antonia Cortese, the executive vice president, is running for the position of secretary-treasurer, while Loretta Johnson, the president of AFT’s Maryland affiliate, is running for executive vice president. All are running uncontested at this point, though candidates can file until a day before the election.

John Mitchell, the AFT’s director of educational issues, said the female leadership is “a very important event, both in education and in labor.

“We have many women who are teachers and many strong union leaders who are women,” he said.

At the NEA, too, women will hold two of the top three jobs. Secretary-Treasurer Lily Eskelsen is the only candidate to have filed for the position of vice president. Marsha Smith, a member of the NEA executive committee from Maryland, and Becky Pringle, a former member of the NEA executive committee from Pennsylvania, will vie for the remainder of Ms. Eskelsen’s term as secretary-treasurer.

Peer-Review Resolution

The NEA expects a record 11,000 delegates to attend the Representative Assembly in Washington over the Fourth of July weekend. The theme is commitment, courage, and power, said Mr. Weaver, who cannot run again because of term limits.

“The theme reflects our commitment to great public schools, our courage to stand up to Congress and other critics, and the power of 3.2 million educators to shape the future of public schools,” he said.

The AFT convention will be held in Chicago July 11-14, and 3,000 members are expected to attend.

The union plans, among other initiatives, to introduce a resolution on peer review, which a handful of its locals have implemented for several years, including Toledo, Ohio, and Rochester, N.Y.

Resolutions are also expected on sweeping changes to the No Child Left Behind law.

A version of this article appeared in the June 18, 2008 edition of Education Week as Leadership Jobs Top Agenda for NEA, AFT


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Teachers Are Pushing for Paid Parental Leave. How It's Going
Efforts to implement paid parental leave policies are slowly gaining traction, with teachers often advocating on their own behalf.
7 min read
Image of a pregnant person at work.
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Cellphones Turned My Teaching Career From 'Awesome' to Exhausting
A former high school teacher shares how his students' increasing reliance on cellphones drove him out of the classroom.
5 min read
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Cassidy Araiza for Education Week
Teaching Profession Teachers’ Unions Are Gaining Ground in a State That Once Forbade Them
With unions now representing educators in its largest district, Virginia is seeing a labor resurgence.
7 min read
Image of a folder and a signed agreement.
Teaching Profession Q&A 'Fundamentally Changing the Conditions' for Teaching
A specialized STEM program builds in more planning time for teachers.
5 min read
Tess Carlson, Biology & Community Health Teacher for SFUSD Mission Bay Hub, demonstrates how to meter a pipet for Ruier Fang and Aldriana Ramos, both 12th graders at Thurgood Marshall, on April 29, 2024, in San Francisco.
Tess Carlson, the founding science teacher for Mission Bay Hub, demonstrates how to meter a pipet for students on April 29, 2024, in San Francisco.
Peter Prato for Education Week