The new head of the union's committee on the ESEA (aka NCLB) weighs in on its testing requirements and on the link between the federal law's renewal and the economic-stimulus package.


It's interesting how a huge democratic, deliberative body can take practically anything controversial and render it palatable to the majority. The original language of new business item 62 at this year's NEA Annual Convention would have mobilized the union against the "national standards movement" out of fear that it would lead to a national testing program. The item passed, but only after delegates substituted language that directs the union to engage in a dialogue with stakeholders about the national goals and ensure teachers are part of the dialogue. And who doesn't support that?...


The Stanford professor says she believes the Obama administration is committed to reforms done in partnership with teachers, not to them.


From Guest Blogger Dakarai I. Aarons American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has been gathering the roses as she prepares to step down at the end of the month from her position as president of the New York City based United Federation of Teachers, the largest AFT local. But at least one New York-based group is all too ready to see her go: editorial writers at The Wall Street Journal, who took to the pages today with a strident criticism of Weingarten's 11-year presidency (she's been a UFT staffer since the Reagan administration). The WSJ folks say Weingarten and ...


Those who control language control cultural power, the theory goes. In the long run, though, does the concept of these schools work?


More to come this afternoon, as I post details about an interview with the head of NEA's Committee on ESEA, and chat with the man of the hour himself, Dennis Van Roekel.


You can definitely see NEA President Dennis Van Roekel's inner teacher coming out at this RA. He's kept business running along at a pretty speedy clip, gently shutting down delegates who are meandering at the microphones, just as a good teacher might do to an overeager student. That might not seem like a big deal, but consider that this is Van Roekel's first time running an RA. It is not an easy balance to strike, to keep things moving while convincing a huge democratic, deliberative body that you're committed to open dialogue. We're now on new business item 52, and ...


There seems to be an awful lot of confusion among the 9,000 delegates at the National Education Association's Representative Assembly over how the Teach For America program works.


NEA President Dennis Van Roekel doesn't seem overly fond of the media.


The chair of NEA's committee on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Christy Levings (at right) gave an overview of the committee's 2009 report today. It lists the union's activities in the 2008 campaigns, its public policy initiatives and conferences, its media outreach, and recent analytical reports on the law.You can find it here (scroll down to "ESEA Committee 2009 RA Report.") After Ms. Levings finished, the normally mild-mannered NEA President, Dennis Van Roekel, got more agitated than I've ever seen, as he called on delegates to get involved in efforts to lobby federal officials to change the law. "This...


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