Educators from across the nation are currently meeting in Boston for the annual meeting of the National Education Association, the largest teacher’s union in the country.
Alaska NEA president Tim Parker is attending along with 64 other state members to learn about education initiatives around the country and to discuss how to improve education in Alaska.
Parker said that his biggest concern is the uncertain future of the state’s education budget.
“We’re going to be in exactly the same spot next year,” Parker said. “Teacher lay-offs and program cuts continue.”
Among the topics discussed at the meeting was this year’s roll out of the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA. ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and gives states more power over setting standards for their schools and for evaluating teachers.
Parker said he has been speaking with educators from other states about how to improve methods for evaluating student progress.
“Some of them are super creative,” Parker said. “They actually have to investigate an oil spill.”
The NEA annual meeting ends on July 5.