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Latest News - June 2014

June 11, 2014
Barbara Madeloni, new leader of state teachers' union, taps into members' anger, says local union president Timothy Collins
Source: Mass Live
By: Carolyn Robbins

The recent election of standardized-testing opponent Barbara Madeloni, of Northampton, as president of the state teachers union taps into the anger and frustration of teachers who feel overburdened in their efforts to carry out mandated, unfunded school programs, Springfield Education Association President Timothy Collins said Tuesday.

Madeloni, 57, noted for her confrontational style, scored a narrow upset victory over the union's vice president Tim Sullivan at last month's annual convention of the 110,000-memberMassachusetts Teachers Association in Boston.

"It's been a very tough year - with the U.S. Department of Education and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education piling on mandated programs without providing funding," Collins said. "Teachers are frustrated and angry and Madeloni tapped into that emotion," he said.

The Springfield Education Association is affiliated with the state union.

Madeloni, who begins her two-year term on July 15, will succeed outgoing president Paul Toner whose tenure had expired. Toner received widespread praise from state education leaders for his collaborative style, according to a May 22 article in Commonwealth Magazine.

However, the magazine went on to say that Madeloni's election seems to signal a fight against high-stakes testing and recent educational reforms.

During her campaign,Madeloni openly criticized the state teachers union for not fighting teacher assessments and the Common Core, a set of standards adopted by Massachusetts and 43 other states, according to an article in The Boston Globe.

Collins said Madeloni's criticisms are valid. "I've been working on some of these issues for years," he said.

In 2004, Madeloni, a former high school English teacher in South Deerfield and Northampton, she was hired to educate teachers at the University of Massachusetts.

Two years ago, she organized a protest of a new teacher licensing system UMass was piloting. UMass did not renew here contract when it came up




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