The gap just got wider between the United States Department of Education and its Secretary Arne Duncan on the one side and America’s teachers on the other. Never has their been such hostility between the NEA, a reliable Democratic constituency, and a Democratic Party controlled USDE.
While earlier New Business Items had addressed problems with Race to the Top in general terms, NBI 2 was most clear and direct:
“While the National Education Association Representative Assembly supports and appreciates the significant increase in federal funding for education, the NEA takes a position of no confidence in the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top competitive grant policies and guidelines as a basis for the reauthorization of ESEA and similar initiatives and policies that undermine public education.”
During the hour-long debate, speaker after speaker warned that the term “no confidence” would offend the Administration and would keep us from being invited to sit at the table.
But the anger of the majority of delegates would not be contained by fear. We had enough.
Significantly, the Illinois delegation had voted in caucus to oppose the New Business Item. Illinois was one of the few delegations standing with the minority in opposition.
Except for a few of us.