So much going on. It’s hard to keep up. So here’s a round-up of a few things on the local education scene that are actually pretty important, but haven’t gotten much attention in recent days:
MTEA executive director is out: Stan Johnson, the executive director of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, is out, continuing a period of difficulties and instability in leadership of the union. Johnson resigned last week “for personal reasons,” according to a union spokesman who said there would be no further comment. But Johnson’s abrupt departure suggested it was not an amiable matter.
Johnson was previously president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the union organizations which has been at the heart of education politics in Wisconsin in recent decades. He was one of the most widely known teachers’ union figures in the state.
In a period when all teachers’ unions have been facing a lot of challenges, the MTEA has had had the complication of continuing leadership issues. Tom Morgan was named executive director in 2007, succeeding long-term union leader Sam Carmen. But Morgan died of a heart attack while on a vacation cruise in March 2010. Since then, the union went through several interim directors and a search for a new executive director that ended with no candidate being selected Carmen came out of retirement for several months and it was during Carmen’s return that the MTEA reached a four-year contract agreement with the Milwaukee School Board. Johnson was hired after Carmen returned to retirement last fall.
With Johnson gone, long-time union staffer Sid Hatch has been named acting executive director. Separately, the union is installing a new president this week. Mike Langyel, who was president the last two years (and was president from 1991 to 1993 as well), has retired and Bob Peterson, a veteran teacher who is nationally known for his work on social justice issues and his founding of the Rethinking Schools education publication, is the new president.