Intercepts

A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

WEAC Looking for New Direction

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 26•12

A timely piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel details the soul-searching going on at the Wisconsin Education Association Council, where a special representative assembly will be held next Saturday to discuss the union’s options, including possible merger with AFT Wisconsin.

WEAC leaders apparently “are more seriously considering how to shift their emphasis to organizing from the community level up rather than the Capitol level down.” There are quite a few aspects of this plan that seem familiar, considering the National Education Association has similar plans, including moving away from a “service model, where people paid their dues and got a certain number of services from the union in return.” Under the new model, people would pay their dues to become part of an ideological mass movement – more like the NRA than the NEA.

The common denominator in this thinking is Bob Peterson, currently president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, but long-time advocate for this very approach at Rethinking Schools. Whether all this new thinking will take hold in an organization wedded to old thinking for the past 35 years or so is, of course, academic.

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