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In Election, NEA Tries to Influence NCLB's Future

The National Education Association plans to spend $40 million on campaign activities this year. Most of that will go to phone banks, get-out-the-vote efforts, and other standard campaign priorities. But the union wants to do more than support the candidates it favors. It's hoping to influence the future of NCLB.

In researching this story on teachers' unions' campaign efforts, I found that the NEA's affiliates in Iowa and Nevada urged their members to propose resolutions on NCLB during their local caucuses. You can see the materials here and here. The resolutions are identical and raise all of the issues that NEA is lobbying for (multiple measures, class-size reduction, and the like). The ultimate goal is for the language to end up in party campaign platforms.

In addition to what I reported, George Wood from the Forum on Education and Democracy says that the NEA local in Des Moines was active in raising concerns about NCLB during candidates' Iowa appearances. Now, Wood writes, NCLB has disappeared from the campaign agenda. Will it return after Super Tuesday? I think the answer depends on what Congress attempts to do in the next few months.

Also in the current issue of Education Week, see Why Arts Education Matters by Stephanie Perrin in the Commentary section.

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