, Volume 6, Issue 1,Sept.2009
is published five times annually by the IllinoisEducation Association-NEA. Send correspondence to:iealistens
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s I ponder the challenges we find be-fore us, I am reminded of Jimmy Buf-fet’s song “Changes in Latitudes,Changes in Attitudes.”IEA must rethink how we approach can-didate recommendations for federal andstate offices. We need to review how we canhold incumbents accountable for their per-formances, how we evaluate the viability ofchallengers, and how we then use IPACE re-sources to impact elections.Letmebespecific,yourIPACEcommitteeisconsideringsignificantlychanginghowwespend IPACE dollars to ensure those dollarspromote our mes-sage, leverage sup-port for our keyissues and mobilizemembers and thepublictosupportcan-didates who supportus. Conversely, weneed to leave behindthose who don’t walktheirtalkwhenitistimetoputavotebehindtheir rhetoric.There are also significant changes com-ing to IEA itself. As many of you know, for-mer Executive Director Jo Anderson left inApriltobecomesenioradvisortoArneDun-can. FieldServicesDirectorPattiHodgeshasbeen ably filling in as acting exec, while thehiringcommitteelooksforasuccessor. Iamconfident we will have a great candidate torecommendtotheIEABoardofDirectorsforapproval at our September meeting. Thenew exec will bring to the job some newideas and new approaches to the job. I amexcited about partnering with our new execin the coming months as we continue theworkofensuringIEAisthereforyousupport-ing the work of your local as well as beingyouradvocateshereinSpringfieldandWash-ington DC.Inaddition,wewillsoonbegintheprocessofevaluatingand(Ihope)implementingrec-ommendationsoftheCommitteetoEnhanceOrganizational Effectiveness (CEOE), thecommittee created by the 2006 contract ne-gotiated with IEASO, our staff union. CEOEischargedwithstudyingtheentireorganiza-tionwiththegoalofrecommendingchangesthat can enable IEA to do its work on yourbehalfmoreeffectivelyandefficiently. CEOEmembers have been meeting, often fordays at a time, for more than two years andhave sought input from members, leadersand staff. They will soon present their finalreport.The CEOE committee has been encour-aged to be bold and visionary in formulat-ing their recommendations. It will be theresponsibility of governance to give carefulconsiderationtotherecommendations,con-templatehowtheirideas can make usa better organiza-tion and act uponthe recommenda-tions we believewill make us moreeffective and effi-cient. This won’tbe easy, can’t beaccomplished quickly, but, if done thought-fully,willbeapowerfulguidetoallofusmov-ing forward. We must all be bold inembracing positive changes in how we dobusiness as IEA.So, as you begin another year with stu-dents and colleagues I want you to under-stand it will be a year of both dauntingchallengesand,Ibelieve,greatopportunitiesfor us all.Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chiefofstaff,likestosay:“Neverwasteagoodcri-sis.” Forallofus,thebudgetcrisis,legislativesession, 2010 elections and opportunity forinternalchangepresentanincredibleoppor-tunitytoworktogethertomakethisa“goodcrisis,” in the sense that we rise to the occa-sion, build on the momentum from ourlegislative action last spring, and find thewaysandmeanstobeabetterIEAthaneverbefore.
The CEOE committee hasbeen encouraged to be bold and visionary in formulating their recommendations.