Dialogue and Debate

In a response to Mark Turek of Maine Taxpayers United, I wrote that I encourage dialogue and debate, but that I don’t appreciate the usurpation of this blog for an organization’s political purposes.  So, just to be clear: (1)  if you represent (or are affiliated with in some sort of official way) an organization, please be honest about that.  (2) If I see several replies espousing a particular viewpoint that appears to me to have nothing to do with the original post, they won’t be approved.

Second, my relationship with the Maine Education Association’s management and leadership over the 14 years I was employed there was not amicable. However, I do believe that unions in general can be beneficial to members, non-members and society at large.  I’ll have more to say later on about what I think MEA should have done and could still do about education reform in Maine. But – you’ll just have to take my word for it – I have a lot more reason to bash the organization than almost anyone else, but I’m not going to do so because it’s not worth my, or your, time in this forum.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Dialogue and Debate

  1. Ms. Hudak, Thank you for creating this forum for dialogue and debate about education. For clarity, yes, I am currently serving as chairman for the Board of Directors with Maine Taxpayers United.

    Since education is a major expense for the taxpayers in Maine, the Maine Education Association (MEA) plays a major role which seems to need more accountability… especially related to their Far Left political activities. If a procedural audit was conducted at the MEA, how do you think they would do?

    Mark Turek

    • It was not my intent to create a forum for all comers, just a place to express my own views on education and education reform in Maine. But if it appears over time that such a forum is needed, then I’ll do what I can.

      As to MEA: technically, it’s not accountable to anyone but its members. Do its members have information about all of what the organization does (allegedly) on their behalf? No. Should they (without having to scour newspapers and the internet)? Yes.

      Do I think the MEA has a responsibility to its members to inform the state and its citizens about issues important to education and education reform (preferably without spin)? Yes. Do they do so? Absolutely not. Hence this blog.

  2. Steve Owens

    Nancy, I’m chiming in here because I am really looking forward to what you have to say on unions and ed reform. I’m a music teacher and VT-NEA local president – we have 5 rural elementary schools and about 150 people in the local. I’m also the Teaching Ambassador Fellow for the US Dept. of Education attached to the New England regional office, so I have a great interest in knowing what is going on in other New England states. My area of interest at ED has become union reform, with a secondary interest in rural affairs.

    I urge you not to get sidetracked into an argument with Mr. Turek. As you correctly point out, his organization has plenty of resources for getting its message out without hijacking your blog. Rest assured that there are many of us looking forward to your blog – I found it because it was mentioned on the Teacher Leaders Network Forum of the Center for Teaching Quality. Please talk to us, the people who genuinely are receptive to what you have to share.
    Steve Owens

    • Glad to have you, Steve. I’m surprised at the interest in a blog with only 3 posts so far! I’d be interested in knowing more about Vermont’s collective bargaining laws and how they impact (or may be impacted by) ed reform.

  3. FredTheSurveyor

    Hi Nancy! I followed the link from Dirigo Blue and just want to wish you luck with your blog here. Stick to your guns and don’t let the right wing extremists change your topic that I am sure you will carry with eloquence and grace.

  4. Hi,
    I also found your blog on Dirigo Blue and find what you write very informative. I also like that, at least from my point of view, you are neither far to the right or left. I would like more information about unions, my union and how they improve education for children. I am a teacher and have my self interest at stake as well. I am a great believer that balance and fairness are closely related and are both needed to find the truth. And balance and fairness are what is need to provide quality education. I feel your blog helps me find that truth.
    Mary MacKinnon

    • My purpose in the blog is to explain the hows and whys of collective bargaining for teachers in Maine, with sidebars into other areas of interest as they occur to me. I’m hoping to provide a resource for Maine citizens and legislators as they consider changes to laws of all sorts, so thanks for letting me know the word is getting out there. I’m glad to find your blog as well!

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