Last week, thousands of teachers gathered in Houston for the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual convention. During the convention, any group of 50 delegates could bring to the floor a new business item, which is a one-year, non-binding resolution directing the union to take a certain action.
Over 160 new business items were proposed, including New Business Item 2, a motion pledging the NEA would “re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America.” The resolution also proposed that the “NEA will make student learning the priority of the Association” and that every NEA program should be evaluated by asking, “How does the proposed action promote the development of students as lifelong reflective learners?”
When put to a vote of 6,000 NEA delegates, the motion failed.
It’s unclear why the NEA would vote against re-dedicating itself to “increased student learning,” since the vote happened in a closed door session. But with no obvious poison pills in the item, “supporting student learning” should be the easiest vote that these teachers take.
One would think that this motion’s defeat would be a public relations nightmare, because it could fuel the perception — a perception long denied by unions — that teachers unions look out primarily for teachers rather than students. But so far, that public relations nightmare hasn’t happened: Coverage of the convention in both mainstream media outlets and the education trade press have said almost nothing about the resolution’s failure.
Yet for anyone looking closely, delegates’ decision to vote down the “student learning” resolution comes into sharper relief when compared to resolutions that did pass. When it came to numerous left-leaning ideas — many with seemingly little relation to teaching kids — delegates eagerly voiced their approval. Over the course of the convention, the delegates endorsed “the fundamental right to abortion under Roe v. Wade,” enthused over reparations for slave descendants, and called on the US government to “accept responsibility for the destabilization” of Central American countries and that this destabilization is “a root cause of the recent increase of asylum seekers in the United States.”
And that’s not all. They also voted in favor of helping with the 2020 Census, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and teaching the concept of “White Fragility” (which they explain is produced by “white supremacy culture”) in NEA professional development.
Put together, the voting record from this year’s convention makes it pretty clear where NEA delegates’ priorities lie.
A similar focus was evident in the NEA conference agenda. During the convention, there were breakout sessions on topics like “Racial and Social Justice,” “Ethnic and Minority Affairs,” and “Women’s Issues.” Along with those discussions, delegates heard from a smorgasbord of progressive left warriors like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Bill de Blasio. Meanwhile, per the convention agenda, there wasn’t a single session devoted to curriculum and instruction, nor raising student test scores.
So, first, teachers thought they needed to vote on a resolution to “teach”. That in itself is troubling. Then, they rejected the resolution. Maybe if the word “indoctrinate” had replaced “teach” it might have had a better chance.
But they endorsed far left agendas such as abortion and blaming the United States for everything bad.
Let’s see… what is their job again?
The NEA has never been about Education its all to do with Brainwashing/Indoctrination by the left
the federal government has spent billions on schools K-12. money pissed down a rat hole. the corruption in school communities is endless. the collapsing of small districts and incorporating them into bigger district continue to syphon federal funds vis a vie the closing of the smaller districts. talk about fake news, fake school attendance numbers is much worse. one school superintendent in Oh. has a salary of $425,000 plus $100,000 spending for entertaining , meals and meetings.
It’s about time we start testing teachers for both competence in their subjects and to make sure they are not illiterate. The nea has repeatedly come out against literacy testing for teachers. Wonder why?
@Bookdoc: The same reason Democrats are against having the citizenship question on the census; the answer would wake America up.
The problem is that elementary educational systems have, in many areas, turned into nothing more than institutional day care centers. Students go into secondary educational systems barely able to read or write a cogent sentence. Forget about math.
Move on to our university systems where students are not taught the art of individual thought but are indoctrinated into liberal group think. Professors, who are clearly Communistic in political thought place pictures of Che Guevera in their classroom in one of my state’s premier universities. One of those professors is a Journalism professor. Is there any wonder why the media is so hard left wing?
But parents do have rights. They can form groups that monitor class room teachings, approve all books and learning materials that are outside the state guidance, demand public reviews of teachers during contract renewals and demand that teachers, who fail to educate and use their position only for a bully pulpit be dismissed without predjudice (meaning it cannot be overturned). Teachers should be given the SAT without warning in their particular field and should not be allowed to continue teaching if they fail with an 80 or less.
At the cost to the taxpayers of at least $7,000/yr to educate a child, the taxpayer is being bilked.