Jessica Tang Makes History in Boston

Congratulations, Jessica Tang, the newly elected leader of the Boston Teachers Union! What I admire about Jessica, in addition to all the firsts attached to her rise, is that she is determined to fight privatization. Despite the fact that Massachusetts is far and away the highest performing state on NAEP, the plutocrats have been trying to bust the public schools.

She is a fighter. Between Tang and Barbara Madeloni of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state is well prepared to fight corporate reform.

The Boston Globe writes:

“The most remarkable thing about Jessica Tang’s ascension as head of the Boston Teachers Union might be just how unremarkable it feels.

“Tang’s election last week as president of one of the city’s most important unions was anticlimactic: She was unopposed. She’s the first person of color to head the union, the first member of the LGBT community, and the first woman in more than three decades. Since 1983, in fact, only two people, Edward Doherty and the retiring Richard Stutman, have led the city’s teachers.

“But Tang, 35, is a brilliant and passionate advocate for public schools and their teachers.She has learned the art of fiercely defending positions without sparking personal animus, and her rise through the union ranks has been so seamless that she was elected to the presidency unopposed.

“She takes office at a challenging time for the union, which is locked in a contentious contract negotiation with the city. This is also a watershed moment for teachers unions in general, facing fire from several directions.

“The only organized body standing in the way of privatizing education is teachers unions, and I do believe that’s why teachers unions are under attack,” Tang said last week, the day after her election. “The idea that unions obstruct learning, that’s just not true. That whole narrative that unions are the reason that public schools are bad, that’s just wrong.”

from sarah


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