The general counsel's knowledge of the union's bylaws, standing rules, resolutions, and national labor law is legend.


The New Mexico governor has given up on the idea that NCLB will be killed, but wants to see the law become more accommodating toward English-language learners.


He may not have Randi Weingarten's yoga arms, but NEA President Dennis Van Roekel apparently does have a pitching arm. He threw out the first pitch in a Padres game last night. (I'm working on getting you the video now.) UPDATE: Click here for the video....


Despite the California delegation's efforts, the union steered cleared of language that would have gone against Obama and Duncan's attempts to convert low-performing schools into charters.


In his first keynote before the Representative Assembly as president of the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel plays up his role as the head of a "union," not just a professional organization.


How do you make sure you don't get lost in a crowd of 9,000 delegates? Wear your state-delegation T-shirt. It's become something of a tradition for each state delegation to wear specially designed shirts over the course of the Representative Assembly, especially on the first day. Some affiliates opt for a political design: This year, the California Teachers Association's shirt says "NCLB: Erase, rewrite, reauthorize" on the front and "Learning is more than a test score ... and so is teaching" on the back. The fun-loving Ohio Education Association picked bright Hawaiian-style shirts. (Given the design, at first I thought "OEA"...


The NEA may speak publicly with a single voice, but delegates have different views on policies, based on their reactions to the education secretary's speech yesterday.


While some saw the speech as "tough love" for the teachers' unions, the Obama administration clearly telegraphed its intentions to push hard on issues like performance pay, seniority, and tenure in the stimulus legislation, and that passed months ago.


The NEA's resolutions do not endorse any type of incentive pay other than bonuses for teachers who earn National Board certification. Delegates are a different story, and their reactions [to Duncan's speech] will be interesting to watch.


Today I head down to San Diego for the National Education Association's Representative Assembly, which begins in earnest on July 3. What will this year's NEA assembly bring? Without a doubt, we'll see plenty of debate on internal NEA policies. We'll probably continue to see the union criticize the No Child Left Behind Act: The union's ESEA Committee expected to make another report this session. We may even get a couple of interesting resolutions that highlight the union's sense of its own purpose and mission, as we did about private pre-K providers last year. This year also marks Dennis Van ...


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