In These Times

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In Upset, Reform Candidate Wins Massachusetts Teachers Association Presidency


On Friday, May 9, Barbara Madeloni stood onstage at the Massachusetts Teachers Association convention in Boston and made her case to some 1,450 assembled delegates as to why they should elect her president of the union.

Calling for a union that actively fights for its members and that challenges the corporate-backed education reform machine, she told the crowd: “What would a union built on the experience of solidarity look like? A call for a moratorium on high-stakes testing, field testing, and teacher evaluations!”

Over riotous applause, she continued, “Taking the lead in the fight for a truly progressive income tax …  and organizing across locals and within communities to name and fight for a richer, more humane and democratic regime of public education than that being foisted on us!”

By the end of Madeloni’s speech, Eugene Stein, a delegate at the meeting and a teacher at South High School in Newton, Massachusetts, told In These Times that he knew she’d win. “There was a palpable buzz as many people in the MTA were looking for a new voice,” he said. “The sentiment in the room was too strong in favor of change.”


Sarah Jaffe is a staff writer at In These Times and the co-host of Dissentmagazine’s Belabored podcast. Her writings on labor, social movements, gender, media, and student debt have been published in The Atlantic, The Nation, The American Prospect, AlterNet, and many other publications, and she is a regular commentator for radio and television. You can follow her on Twitter @sarahljaffe.

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