Paul Toner

Guest Blogger

Executive Director, Teach Plus Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Paul F. Toner, is the executive director of Teach Plus Massachusetts, where he works to engage and elevate the voices of teachers in local, state and national education policy.

Toner has dedicated his career to seeking collaborative, innovative solutions to improving public education. Prior to working at Teach Plus, Toner, a middle school social studies teacher and lawyer, served as vice president and president of the 113,000 member Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) from 2006 to 2014 after serving as president of the Cambridge Teachers Association from 2001 to 2006. As leader of the MTA and CTA, he was a strong advocate for educators and students while working with district and state leaders to focus on improving student achievement through labor-management collaboration. During his tenure, he worked to make the union the voice of the education profession and an integral partner in shaping education policy and legislation such as the state’s Race to the Top application, new teacher-evaluation frameworks, the implementation of new curriculum standards and accountability systems. He also helped to create and launch the Massachusetts Education Partnership, a labor-management support organization focused on improving student achievement.

Toner is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and has served on numerous education committees and task forces including Governor Deval Patrick’s Readiness Project and Governor Charles Baker’s Education Transition Committee. He is also a Pahara-Aspen Teacher Leader Fellow.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Sep. 25, 2017

We Can’t Teach Kids How to Be Civil Without First Practicing It

In August, a group of educators and education advocates of diverse opinion gathered together at Boston’s Old State House for…

By Paul Toner

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Posted Mar. 10, 2015

Using Annual Assessments to Improve Schools, Not to Scold Students and Teachers

Without data, policymakers and practitioners in every field are working in the dark. As Congress considers a long-overdue reauthorization of…

By Paul Toner

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Posted Jan. 20, 2015
Paul Toner, photo courtesy NEA.

Educators Should Take the Lead on Common Core

Paul Toner is the former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. He is now president of New Voice Strategies, a…

By Paul Toner

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Featured Posts

Posted Nov. 30, 2020

Without Data, We Can’t Fight for Our Students’ Futures

Sometimes, data can seem pesky. Just ask the folks who continue to suggest that coronavirus spikes are merely the result of increased testing. “You know…

By Garris Landon Stroud

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Posted Nov. 30, 2020

It’s Not a Discipline Problem, You’re Just Not Engaging Your Students

Here’s a dirty little secret about teachers that few people care to admit: Many teachers with poor classroom management aren’t strong instructional. I would never assume…

By Rann Miller

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Posted Dec. 1, 2020

Why I Gave My Son Permission to Drop Out of High School

We see a child in a maple treeWe’re watching him climb,You and I.You say, “Come down,You’ll hurt yourself!”I say, “Go upYou’re touching the sky!” –…

By Alina Adams

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