New MTA leaders take office

New MTA Leadership Team MTA President Barbara Madeloni and Vice President Janet Anderson took office as the new leaders of the Commonwealth’s largest union on July 15, promising a course of member-driven activism that focuses on resisting corporate-driven policies and reclaiming a democratic vision of public education for students, schools, colleges and communities.

“Our public schools are the cornerstone of democracy,” said Madeloni, who is on leave as a senior lecturer in the Labor Studies Department at UMass Amherst. “Educators make an incredible commitment to our students and their future every day. We need trust, autonomy and respect to create conditions in which all students can succeed and thrive.”

Madeloni, who lives in Northampton, was elected in May to a two-year term as MTA president.

Beginning in 2004, she worked at the UMass School of Education, where among other responsibilities she coordinated the Secondary Teacher Education Program. As a teacher educator, Madeloni worked with hundreds of prospective educators who now teach in schools throughout Massachusetts and across the country. Prior to teaching at UMass, she was an English teacher at Northampton High School and at Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield.

Madeloni has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College, a master’s degree in education from UMass Amherst and a Doctor of Psychology degree from the University of Denver.

One of her key priorities as MTA president will be to build grassroots support for the kinds of efforts that truly help all Massachusetts students grow and succeed.

“We will ally with parents, students and community members to defend our public schools and colleges from dehumanizing accountability systems pushed by corporate and undemocratic interests,” Madeloni said. “Together we will reclaim our schools as places of joy, creativity, imagination and critical engagement for every child.”

Anderson, who began teaching in the Taunton Public Schools in 1988, recently completed her 14th year as a fifth-grade teacher at the Benjamin Friedman Middle School. Before being elected to a two-year term as MTA vice president, she was a member of the association’s Board of Directors. She served as president of the 570-member Taunton Education Association from 2008 to 2014.

Anderson, who lives in Taunton, is a graduate of Bridgewater State College, now Bridgewater State University, with a dual major in elementary and special education.

The delegates to the MTA Annual Meeting at which Madeloni and Anderson were elected passed items that call for a three-year moratorium on PARCC testing and the initiation of member-led forums to discuss the impact of testing and other corporate-driven policies on students, teachers and schools. The forums will begin in the fall.

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