Region 6 President Mark Lindsey was presented with a President’s Award at the WEAC Representative Assembly on April 18. The award honors exceptional leadership achievement.
In presenting the award, WEAC President Betsy Kippers said, “Mark is the president of Region 6 and has been part of the transition process from the beginning of the development of our new regional structure. He has been a champion to make sure the transition was as successful as it could be. Even in this challenging environment, Mark always has a positive and encouraging word to say and is a great leader on the WEAC Board of Directors. Thank you, Mark, for all you do for WEAC.”
This year’s Representative Assembly was held in downtown Milwaukee where hundreds of WEAC member delegates passed a budget for the statewide organization and voted on several new business items (NBI) and resolutions.
The delegates adopted a New Business Item expressing support for the concept of “Teach More, Test Less.” The adopted item:
- Calls on Congress to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to end its mandate of annual reading and math tests in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school and instead mandate “grade span testing” – once in elementary, middle and high school.
- Calls upon the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to provide parents and guardians, in a timely manner, with an explanation of the rationale, intended use, and costs associated with any state – or federal-mandated tests intended to be administered to students, and to provide an explanation of the steps parents and guardians would need to take should they choose to absent their children from such testing.
- Takes a public stance in support of a parent’s right to opt out or refuse a test at all grade levels.
Delegates also adopted the New Business Item “Black Lives Matter to Labor.”
In remarks on the RA floor, Kippers said teachers and education support professionals entered the profession because they had a “calling” to help students and educate others for the future.
“We saw there was joy in teaching and learning,” she said. “But there’s a growing line of politicians, corporations, know-it-alls and profiteers banging on our schoolhouse doors to get inside and take away that joy. They want to incentivize, profitize, standardize. We won’t let them!”
The only way to return education to its roots, Kippers said, is through the union. “It starts with union, and it ends with union. It involves every single one of us in our own way,” she said.
In other action, delegates re-elected Arlene Braden of East Troy as WEAC Secretary-Treasurer, and Lori Cathey of Green Bay as an NEA Director, and elected Scott Ellingson of Hudson as an Alternate NEA Director.