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KNOW_Fall_2015 | 19 MEMBERSHIP MATTERS As a GAE member, you are invited to join GAE-Retired now as a GAE-Pre-Retired member. Why? • To keep informed about current issues that affect both Active and Retired Members. • To be a part of an organization that is a part of GAE. • To lock in your GAE-Retired and NEA-Retired dues NOW at today’s rate. Do you know someone who has retired from public education in Georgia as a GAE member? • in another state as an NEA member? • in any state who was a member of another organization? • in any state who wasn’t a member of any organization? If so, then invite that person to join GAE-Retired! Retired educational employees in any of these categories are eligible to become GAE-Retired members. For further information about joining GAE-Pre-Retired and GAE-Retired, call 678.837.1105. EI, EI, O! Did you know that the National Education Association is one of the nearly 400 member unions in more than 170 countries and territories that is a part of Education International (EI), the voice of the teacher profession worldwide? A global federation, EI represents 32 million teachers and education workers from pre-school to university. EI works tirelessly on the behalf of children around the world to make sure governments meet their obligations in the education sphere Recent headlines from EI website include the following: • International Literacy Day: quality education for the world we want • Latin America gears up anti-commercialisation strategy • Nigeria: teacher union pushes for decent financing of quality basic education for all • Kenya: teachers demand overdue pay rise • Tajikistan: teacher training focuses on vigorous trade unionism and fight against child labour At its most recent World Congress this summer in Ottawa, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia was elected to the EI Executive Board as Vice-President of the North American and Caribbean region. Want more information about Education International? Visit the EI website. GAE-Retired members Patrick Crabtree, Brenda Montgomery, and Karen Solheim at the NEA exhibit at the Education International World Congress in Ottawa, July 19-26, 2015. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @GAE_Retired longer be required to earn a passing score on any graduation tests to earn a high school diploma. In addition to covering all versions of the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, this law also provides that students shall no longer be required to earn a passing score on the Basic Skills Tests (BST) to earn a high school diploma. I remember when the Basic Skills Test (BST) was what the Georgia Milestones Test is now. One of the objectives of the BST in ELA (English Language Arts) centered on students mastering the concept of cause and effect. This concept of cause and effect permeates almost everything that happens in public education. For instance, most recently, severe budget cuts over the last few years have resulted in cuts in programs, teaching and other personnel, and material resources. So what can be done when we are told that “‘it’ only affects the new hires”? First, be knowledgeable about your profession. While you may not be able to attend legislative committee hearings or meetings of the Education Reform Commission, you can read the GAE updates about what transpired. Next, figure out what is true. Does what is being purposed resonate as true, or does a larger cause-and-effect relationship exist? If “it” affects the new hires in a way that you wouldn’t want to be affected, then do you think that individuals would want to enter the field of education in the first place? A recent AJC headline read “Where have all the teachers gone? Shortages reported.” In order to attract the best and the brightest to our profession, we need to make it as inviting as possible, or the effect will be that the teacher shortages will continue. If the teacher shortages continue, then…, and the saga continues. Lastly, advocate for your profession. As I mentioned, those who are making decisions for our profession usually are not the faces on the front line. You are! You are the expert; you know what is best for public education. Keeping your expertise to yourself won’t serve anyone. Share what you know and what you have experienced. Many times, the decision makers value hearing and learning from those who have firsthand knowledge. That’s you! – Karen Solheim President, GAE-Retired

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