|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
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,
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."
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