#NCTMontheHill: The Power of Building Relationships
The NCTM Board has embraced and is actively supporting NCTM’s advocacy role. Recently, Board members made visits to Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress to introduce NCTM, share key educational issues and the impact they are having, and work to build relationships. In short, make a friend.
Almost all ten members of the Board who participated were able to meet with the offices of both their Senators and their Representatives. In addition, every NCTM Board member had at least one meeting where they were able to connect and discuss key issues. On Capitol Hill, members of Congress are assigned to specific committees. It was important for NCTM to try to connect with key members on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. Meetings occurred with the staffs of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Rep. Jacklyn Rosen, and Sen. Tina Smith. The corresponding committee on the House side is Education and Labor, and a meeting was held with Rep. Susie Lee’s office.
During the visits, NCTM Board members worked to make connections with the educational staffers; share stories of the positive impacts that policies have had in their schools, districts, universities, and states; and focus on how Title II-A and Title IV-A under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and the Teacher Quality Partnership program and TEACH Grants that are found in the Higher Education Act. Board members told staff that these programs and the associated dollars support teachers, students, and communities with rigorous and engaging mathematics. Through it all, the focus was on the importance of mathematics education in building success through school and by increasing opportunities for students.
We left Capitol Hill making sure the officials we visited know that we are always here to answer their questions or provide information. And if these critical issues are of interest to the member of Congress, we are always here to support them in being a champion for mathematics education. Thanks to the NCTM Board members for taking advocacy seriously as we begin to build friendships and working relationships with the offices of Rep. Bill Flores, Rep. Denver Riggleman, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Fred Upton, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Rep. Marc Pocan, Rep. Pete Stauber, Rep. Stephen Lynch, Rep. Susie Lee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Ben Cardin, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Gary Peters, Sen. Jacklyn Rosen, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Tim Kaine, and Sen. Tina Smith.
Want to see more photos of NCTM Board members on the Hill? Check out #NCTMontheHill on Twitter. Interested in being an advocate for mathematics education and educators? Great! Check out NCTM’s Advocacy Tool Kit and keep reading the Capitol Report for the latest from Washington, DC!