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...

NEA delegates may not always be fully informed about what they're voting on.

Debates over charter amendments reveal fissures between state affiliations, as well as potential conflicts with the Obama administration.

On a day when NEA leaders read from the speeches of civil rights' leaders in celebration of Independence Day, delegates debated bylaws that turned on free-speech issues.

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

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