Despite a lot of hand-wringing, delegates to the National Education Association's Representative Assembly approved an early endorsement for President Barack Obama, and by a good margin.

NEA affiliates can in theory but not yet in practice use test scores as part of a teacher's evaluation.

Confetti cannons at the NEA's Fourth of July celebration!

UPDATED Here at the 2011 NEA Representative Assembly, we've reached the cutoff for new business items and we now have the full list available. Most of them toe the line of years past (support for national-board certification, condemnation of "privatization"), but there are a few that caught my eye. Here's a list of four to watch: • New Business Item 37, which just passed a few moments ago, calls on NEA to inform members about the "anti-public education agenda behind the ill-informed intrusion of billionaires on education." (The NEA's independent foundation, by the way, receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates...

The delegates voted down New Business Item 22, which would have required the union to call for Education Secretary Arne Duncan's ouster. That doesn't mean they're happy with him, though.

Ever wonder how the state affiliates keep their members in line on votes on new business items and the like?

Vice President Biden emphasizes areas of agreement with NEA's vision of public education.

An item to delay a vote on whether or not to endorse Barack Obama was just voted down by the National Education Association's delegate assembly. Now, pay attention please: This does not mean that the union will actually endorse Obama later this weekend! It merely means the vote won't be put off. There was quite a fierce debate on both sides of the equation on this one, and some really fabulous quotes. Like one from the delegate in favor of a delay: "We are not pregnant, and we don't need a shotgun wedding," she said. "Let's wait and not allow ...

The NEA passes an item criticizing Duncan, and the Education Department responds.

The NEA endorses the "Save Our Schools" grassroots march planned for Washington, D.C., in late July.

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