NEA Builds Fascist Teaching

July 4, 2002

                      RA Tackles ESEA Issues
                      Delegates consider legislative program.
                      The Elementary and Secondary Education Act dominated the 
                      discussion during yesterday’s first business session. Delegates 
                      referred several related NBIs to the ESEA Advisory Committee. 
                      These NBIs address: 
                           gathering information on the consequences of ESEA, 
                           conducting a grassroots campaign to inform and mobilize 
                           members against the negative aspects of ESEA, 
                           working with state departments of education to write specific 
                           plans for closing the gap in state scores between minority and 
                           other students,
                           publicizing the Association’s position and efforts through 
                           internal and external media, 
                           the distribution of information to local and state affiliates 
                           concerning the implementation of ESEA,
                           ESEA grants, 
                           efforts to support alternatives to high-stakes testing, 
                           and funding for reading programs for at-risk students.
                      Delegates approved the formation of the advisory committee on 
                      Tuesday. "This law [ESEA] potentially is a greater threat to education 
                      and our union than any voucher scheme we have defeated to date," 
                      said George Sheridan of California.
                      In two runoff elections, delegates elected Marsha Smith of Maryland 
                      to the Executive Committee and Sarah Horton of Alabama as an 
                      at-large education support professional representative on the Board of 
                      During the afternoon business session, delegates debated NEA’s 
                      Legislative Program. The Legislative Program focuses on issues that 
                      impact the quality of public education, student achievement, the rights 
                      of employees in the workplace, and other public policy concerns.
                      "We strive to create a program that gives lobbyists the flexibility they 
                      need to respond to emerging issues," said Gail Rasmussen, 
                      chairperson of the Standing Committee on Legislation. "To achieve 
                      these goals we recommend against naming specific pieces of 
                      legislation" in the program.
                      In fitting speeches for the Fourth of July, two teachers of the year 
                      honored the noble role educators play in the functioning of a 
                      Sandra McBrayer, executive director of the Children’s Initiative in 
                      California and a former Teacher of the Year, told delegates that 
                      America is about more than "bumper stickers and flags in windows. 
                      "America is … about our belief that each and every child has the right 
                      to a quality education and that each and every child has the potential 
                      to learn," she said. "And it is that you - each and every one of you - 
                      has the ability to do it."
                      Chauncey Veatch, the 2002 National Teacher of the Year, described 
                      teaching as a patriotic duty. "Having served my country wearing the 
                      uniform in the armed forces, it is important that I share with you that 
                      there is no work that I have done that is more patriotic than to be a 
                      teacher," the retired Army colonel said. "The most potent weapon that 
                      we have in our armament is education." 

To Rich Gibson's Home Page