NEA President Dennis Van Roekel released a press statement yesterday that said a little and concealed a lot.
Every NEA member and every teacher ought to be concerned with the direction the national leadership of our Association is moving. It more closely resembles the views of the sell-outs who head the Illinois Association. The IEA is the most conciliatory state leadership in the country when it comes to defending employee rights and supporting phony reforms.
Last summer, around the time of the NEA RA in Chicago, Van Roekel established a commission to make recommendations about teacher effectiveness.
Advising the commission was Tim Daly, President of the New Teacher Project and Fred Hess of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. Neither are normally considered friends of teacher unions.
It is my understanding, based on reports from those that have read the report, the goal of Van Roekel and his cohorts is to move the NEA quietly away from its dual role of promoting educational equity while defending teachers traditional union protections. They want it to look less like a union and more like their vision of a professional organization, whatever that means.
The commission report appears to be an early step in that direction. Van Roekel’s commission on effectiveness functioned autonomously, sharing results with state leadership and board of directors only after the fact through tele-conferences with little discussion
I’ll be reporting more details as I get them.
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