There was much ado after our story about the Massachusetts Teachers Association’s refusal to congratulate National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee, who teaches at a charter school. So much ado that MTA president Barbara Madeloni felt the need to respond.
“One might think this was a good idea or a bad idea, but the decision resulted from a democratic debate and discussion,” she wrote, adding that the vote “unleashed a torrent of attacks on the MTA – on you and me, on all of us – first from a leader of the Yes on 2 campaign, on to a blogger who regularly writes against unions, and next to The Boston Globe, which stood firmly in the Yes on 2 camp last fall. The fury and outrage are startlingly disproportionate to the perceived offense. Unless, I suppose, the offense goes back to winning the No on 2 campaign last fall.”
Well, she got the story timeline wrong, and fails to mention any No on 2 people who criticized MTA, or that NEA will honor Chaffee, or that the Boston Teachers Union will honor Chaffee, or exactly how democratic that debate was, a topic I will expand upon another time.
The answer to any question at MTA is “No on 2.” Thinking an electoral victory excuses any subsequent behavior is, well, Trumpian.
Strangely enough, we had a similar occurrence this morning. NEA congratulated 12-year-old Ananya Vinay, winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, by sending out this tweet:
As you can see, the union tagged the California Teachers Association (@WeAreCTA) to alert them, and CTA retweeted it. But while Vinay is a public school student, her school district, Clovis Unified, is the largest district in the state without a teachers’ union. CTA has never had a presence at Vinay’s school.
Neither union felt this was an obstacle to congratulating Vinay.
MTA put itself out on an island with its vote. That makes it news, not a vendetta.