Edward J. McElroy, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, announced Tuesday that he would step down in the summer, a move widely expected to put Randi Weingarten, the president of the teachers’ union in New York City, in line to succeed him.

Ms. Weingarten, who won significant pay raises for teachers in recent contracts, said only that she was weighing a run for the presidency of the national union, which represents 1.2 million teachers, school aides and other workers. But union officials and other educators say she all but has the job wrapped up.

“Randi seems like the likely successor — there’s obviously no clear alternative,” said Andrew J. Rotherham, a former member of the Clinton administration who is director of Education Sector, an independent policy group.

Mr. McElroy called Ms. Weingarten “an outstanding possibility” in a telephone interview from San Diego, where his union’s executive council was meeting. “I think the world of her.”

Mr. McElroy, 66, took his union’s helm in 2004 after his predecessor, Sandra Feldman, stepped down because of breast cancer. She died a year later.

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