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Build Your Relationships


How can I help my district recruit new members to our Association?

This is such an important question! Every MEA member joins because they have been asked by a colleague. Our Association is all about building relationships to build a strong organization. It takes each of us, from you in the schools and universities to me as MEA president, to keep our Association growing.
It helps when you build a solid presence in every building so everyone sees the vitality the Association brings to the school community.

As you return to school re-member our membership:
Make sure every new hire in your school is approached by an existing member. Reach out to every potential member. The most cited reason for not joining is because a person wasn't ever asked.
Assume each person will join. Start with "Let's get you signed up" because it is easy to say "yes" to a positive message.

Our members can join from day one. Never think that new hires shouldn't join because they are "probationary."
Be positive. Focus on issues that are important to a potential member. Using the "fear factor" is not the best approach.

Be sure to contact your UniServ office for help with membership plans. And be sure to contact me if you would like me to visit your school (lkilby-chesley@maineea.org or 1-888-622-4418 x 2220). I love to visit schools and classrooms ~ and I will bring treats, too!

I read NEA doesn't support President Obama's Secretary of Education. What's with that?

At the NEA Representative Assembly (RA) in early July, the RA delegates voted to call for the resignation, of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. More recently at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) annual convention, AFT members told President Obama to put Duncan on an "improvement plan" and if improvement isn't imminent, ask for his resignation.

ABC News reports that the tipping point for education activists was Duncan's agreement with the Vergara decision in California that struck down tenure and other job protections for the state's public school teachers.
But the problem with Duncan began much earlier. Remember the fiasco in Central Falls, RI in February 2010? Duncan applauded the firing of every teacher from the small high school. The school is in a poverty area and was unable to bring its students up to criteria set in an "improvement plan.”

Let's not forget that Mr. Duncan said Hurricane Katrina was the best thing that could have happened to schools in New Orleans. Say, what? New Orleans' school district is rampant with high numbers of students in poverty before and following the devastation that killed more than 1,000 residents. Duncan definitely spoke without thinking following the hurricane and the resulting "reform" of New Orleans schools. Duncan supported the change over from public schools to charter schools, which have persistently scored D's and F's on the state's report card. The Recovery School District as it is known, is now made up entirely of charter schools.

Last year Arne Duncan, former school superintendent for the city of Chicago, showed his true colors which reinforced his test-driven reform, during the Chicago Teachers Strike. This reminded us that during his time as head of Chicago schools he closed neighborhood schools replacing them with charter schools, and replaced public school teachers with charter school employees. NEA RA Delegates voted for Duncan’s resignation with recent history in mind.

Lois on the Issues:

"Membership recruitment can, and should, happen all year long. Sometimes it will take three or more contacts before a new colleague hears all the important offerings from the MEA and local."

“Engage every member in your school in the work of the Association. It helps in future leadership recruitment and keeps current leaders from being overwhelmed.”

“It shouldn't come as any surprise that NEA members are calling now for Arne Duncan to step aside. The Vergara decision was really just the straw that broke the camel’s back!"

 

 

 


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