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Less Star Power at NEA's 2013 Convention?


The National Education Association gives a lot of awards to high-ranking politicians each year, but not as many of them are showing up to collect them.

President Obama recorded a video that was played one morning, but he didn't appear in person or by satellite. Singer Cyndi Lauper was a no-show to pick up her award at the union's annual human-rights dinner. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., one of the NEA's most important allies on Capitol Hill and a sponsor of class-size-reduction legislation, recorded a video acceptance, but didn't hoof it out to Georgia. And California Gov. Jerry Brown, who just won the union's "Best Education Governor" award, will appear by satellite feed this year, but not in person.

Overall, it's a bit quieter here, with fewer than 7,000 delegates. (There are usually between 7,000 and 9,000.)

This isn't entirely NEA's fault. It's a congressional holiday and it's not a national-election year, and things are always slower as a result. (Believe me, I have to elbow non-edu-reporters for the power-strip outlets during campaign years.)

Still and all, I wonder if this is a bit disappointing to the union's leaders and delegates.

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