Arizona Education Association

Advocate Spring 2012

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POINT OF VIEW by Andrew F. Morrill Honoring Our History Means Acting for Our Future The New Year marks the beginning of the year 2012 and the start of the legislative session, which we, as educators, know means enormous potential for impact on public education and the work we educators do. This year also marks the centennial year for Arizona as well as 120 years for the Arizona Education Association. Arizona and the AEA share a history of struggles over decades as we both have shaped our destiny. In both cases, the actions of past leaders and generations have laid the path on which we act on our values today. For example, current negotiated agreements be- tween our districts and local associations were built on the passion of leaders before us and the power of their organizing campaigns. Think of it – members and leaders just like us demanded compacts that did not exist prior. They demand- ed, they acted, and they organized around a bold agenda. Building those agreements was an act of will, risk, and bravery. As we look back at our history and the AEA OFFICERS Andrew F. Morrill President Joe Thomas Vice-President Nidia Lias Treasurer AEA STAFF Sheryl Mathis Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor Penny Skubal Graphic Design Doug Stagner Editorial Associate Roxanna Horine Advertising Associate - 9 strength yesterday's leaders demonstrated, we must ask ourselves – do we have the power to do in public education today what our forebears did when they were leading and shaping their AEA and the world of public education? Arizona is slowly recovering from an eco- nomic recession but continues to endure an ethical recession taking our common decency and respect for educators and other citizens back decades. The decency, heart, and gener- osity of our members find sharp contrast in the political hostility and venom of Arizona politics over the last half-decade. Let 2012 be a gut-check year when we ask The AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602-264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887 E-mail: AEA's Web site may be found at Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. 4 Spring 2012 x AEA Advocate not only ourselves, but Arizona policy makers to honor Arizona history. This is a year of celebra- tion in which we can return to building a state of which we can be proud. And we must make of our local and state associations what we have dared to build in the past – strong entities with clear agendas for advancing student learning and the highest attainable working conditions for those who educate in all roles. Let's demand a proper tribute to Arizona's past by demanding a better future. Let's pay Arizona tribute by reversing policies meant to weaken the voice of educators. Let's pay tribute by building a great public school for every Arizona student and by providing the resources and support necessary. Let's write a plan for public education built on American values rather than privatized interests. Let's build that plan with educators and not against them, capitalizing on their expertise and commitment rather than punishing them for their calling. As we celebrate Arizona's and AEA's history this year, let us honor those before us by acting as they would – as they did. Let's engage our members in campaigns that make a difference, campaigns built on action with goals that mat- ter, whether those are at buildings, across locals, or statewide for every student and educator in Arizona. As with Arizona, AEA's past was writ- ten with action. As with AEA, Arizona's future will be written in its public schools. Andrew F. Morrill AEA President The AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532.

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