With nearly 1,200 delegates, CTA was the largest delegation at the NEA Representative Assembly earlier this month in Chicago. It was a lively convention width passionate debate from educators across the country. Delegates re-elected NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and approved the early endorsement of Barak Obama for U.S. President. While we certainly don’t agree width all of his education policies, this endorsement was about fighting for the future of our country, the middle class and our rights as union members. It was the right decision for NEA and the California delegation supported the recommendation. Vice President Joe Biden laid out what’s at stake in a commanding speech to delegates.
Expressing our concerns about Obama’s education policies, CTA led efforts to pass New Business Item C
which directs NEA to communicate aggressively, forcefully, and immediately that we are appalled width many of the so-called school reforms from Education Secretary Arne Duncan. This includes his policies of using test scores to measure student and teacher achievement, focusing on unproven and limited solutions for improving schools and failing to correct the problems of No Child Left Behind.
NEA delegates adopted a new policy statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability
. The new policy
focuses on enhancing the practice of teaching, instead of identifying teachers for dismissal. CTA led efforts to ensure that any test not designed to measure both student learning and a teacher’s performance cannot be used to take employment actions against a teacher.
Delegates also united against the unprecedented attacks on educators and America’s working class by approving a $10 dues increase to support NEA’s Crisis Fund. The money is designed to help states width pro-public education outreach. In California, we are facing attacks on our secure retirement and a new “Paycheck Deception” initiative. This initiative, which would restrict how union members spend their own dues money and participate in elections, is now in circulation by well-financed, anti-union forces. Do not sign these petitions and spread the word to your colleagues, family and friends.
And finally, there was more than good policy debate in the air. Join me in a special congratulations to CTA members José Alcalá and Ashley Bettas who made their wedding engagement
official on the RA floor.
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