AFT and the NEA.

Russo fails to appreciate Dennis Van Roekel’s absolutely stunning tie.

EdWize chose to repost a blog entry by Peter Goodman that makes this (snide) comparison between the AFT and the NEA:

The NEA convention, with 9,000 attendees is always “bread and circuses,” themed t-shirts, silly hats, and little discussion of issues. The AFT, with 3,000 participants, has vigorous floor debate.

Let me understand this. The NEA’s convention is silly hats and you guys have vigorous floor debates. 

Now I have been to many NEA RAs. There have been lots of things to complain about over the years. I remember years when IEA President Anne Davis simply wouldn’t call on me during state caucus meetings. Apprently, I was hidden in plain sight. Of course I took it as a point pride. But if you’re trying to claim that the AFT is characterized by wide open democracy and the NEA is the kooky version of the Soviet Party Congress…give me a break.

EdNotesOnline sees this difference:

Ed Week blogger Vaishali Honawar had some comments on the differences between the NEA and AFT at her blog.

Compared with the NEA, the AFT’s convention looks decidedly less education-focused…

A good number of the [AFT] delegates were from professions outside teaching…

Contrast that with the NEA, whose delegates, after protracted debate at this past convention, refused to admit private K-12 workers into their membership ranks, claiming it would cause the union to lose focus of its mission to improve public schools.

Here in NYC in the UFT, with the recent addition of home care workers and over 50,000 retirees, the percentage of working teachers is now in the minority.

The AFT/UFT is much more about things other than education. Which maybe explains the disaster that has hit NYC teachers.

And then there’s Russo, who fails to make a fashion critique of new NEA President Dennis Van Roekel but focuses on new AFT President Randi Weingarten’s attire:

Forget what Randi Weingarten said or proposed in her acceptance speech, or what her ascendancy might mean for school reform.

What did she wear, and how did she look?

I’m no fashionista but the look is a little too prim and proper for my taste. The mid-sized pattern to her suit jacket seems distracting without being really bold. I am hoping the slacks weren’t the same. A new haircut, natch. Not too much lipstick, which is good.

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