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A Column for Mr. Weaver


Outgoing NEA President Reg Weaver is making an all-out effort to go down in the history books. This morning, he rolled out six priorities for the federal government that will create "Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020." (Read my colleague Michele McNeil's description here).

The initiative is typically rich in soundbytes, like the "unprecedented and unbalanced federal role in education," and "quality conditions for teaching and lifelong learning." Among the priorities are (surprise!) support for the teaching profession, sustained federal funding for mandates, and support for innovation and best practices.

"We will not be subjected to a game of roulette where some children win and some children lose," Weaver thundered.

Meanwhile, the outgoing president, who was always very accessible to the media, is in quite the mood to tell his story before he hands over the reins to successor Dennis Van Roekel on Sept. 1. The NEA media office has been offering 10-minute time slots to journalists at which time they can ask him about his tenure and other specified subjects.

The press packet even came with a two-page bio of Weaver, which tells you, among other things, that there's a stone column dedicated to him at England's Lincoln Cathedral.


Wow! What's up with the attitude? I've been a public school teacher and NEA member for 37 years. I found your post about Mr. Weaver insulting, rude and sarcastic.

I've worked on the front lines of public education for 37 years. Seems like you're just all talk. What makes you an expert?

I think what is clear to me (teacher for 10 years) and many of my colleagues is that the unions are irrelevant. For most of us, they do not represent our individual interests nor the professions. We all know of the looming shortage (I know of 15 new teachers who will be leaving the profession in my area)and the unions are and continue to do nothing! Details are unnecessary---we all know what they are, we have heard them over and over (to the point where no one listens anymore---especially the unions). It's time teachers learn to stand on their own and save the money we give in dues.

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