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NEA RA: Don’t invite Arne to Friendship Night.

July 2, 2011

A stunning development. I usually am seated in the back of the hall at both IEA and NEA Representative Assemblies. This year I am seated in the first seat of row one in the hall. Perhaps leadership believes they can buy me off with this. It is possible. It is nice up there. Seated with me are my followers.

Tonight is Friendship Night, the week’s party, at the NEA Representative Assembly. Arne Duncan is not invited. At least by the delegates.

They voted in favor of a New Business Item that offers up a condemnation of the Obama Education boss. It is the econd year in a row of bad news for Arne Duncan at the NEA RA.

But that didn’t keep President Dennis Van Roekel from including a strong call for an early no strings endorsement of Obama in his opening RA address to the delegates.

It was a fine speech. It hit all the right points. I don’t even have to list them. You know them.

But it was a message targeting the GOP alone. Duncan wasn’t mentioned that I can recall. And you would think that Obama’s record on education has caused even those delegates who plan to vote for endorsement to wince.

Van Roekels’s swooning words for Obama received tepid applause.

I went to the microphone at the morning Illinois Caucus meeting to voice my opposition to the endorsement. But I had barely finished when the question was called. A very short debate. Even supporters of the motion for caucus support were dismayed at the brevity of the debate. And there will be no debate on the RA floor.

The Illinois Caucus voted in favor of endorsing the President at this RA. But a third voted no. And the vote for endorsement needs 58% of all the delegates at the RA in a secret ballot vote to be adopted.

I don’t know anyone who is taking book on the outcome of the vote.

In another positive development, the RA adopted a New Business Item in support of the Save Our Schools March on Washington on July 30th. The NEA leadership had already offered their endorsement of the march. But this came from the 8,000 delegates.

Sunday has Joe Biden speaking in the morning. Oy.

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