At the NEA RA. Getting started. Update.

A summer storm rolled through DC Thursday night. It knocked out power in scattered areas.

Maybe that’s why there were no copies of RA Today when I arrived at the Illinois Caucus meeting after flying here yesterday afternoon.

As a result, I haven’t seen any of the resolutions or New Business Items that will be debated and voted on this week.

Maybe this morning.

There’s a two hour Caucus meeting at 7AM.

DC is hot. Record-setting hot.

Senf and I skipped the Illinois Night last night for mussels and beer at Granville Moore’s in Northeast DC. Great choice.

Then we hopped a cab to the National Harbor to catch the band, Ozomotli. But we got classically scammed by a DC driver who took us the longest way around. A $60 fare for what should have been a $30 ride. When we hear about “inside” and “outside” the “beltway” on the news from now on we can tell you what every inch of the beltway looks like because we have been on every inch of it.

When we got to the National Harbor, it turns out that Ozomotli was a no show. The storm the night before kept them in Chicago.

Senf got some beer tickets and we sat on a bench on the pier while some security guards gave some illegal swimmers a hard time.

I ran into Adam, who was the one who told me about the Ozomotli show in the first place. Adam is a local Chicago Teacher Union organizer and teacher. He drove here on his motorcycle. The CTU is in the AFT, but Adam just came to meet up with NEA members to share the Chicago story.

Sipping beer on a pier bench, Senf and I got to talking to a local couple who also came to hear Ozomotli. They described how National Harbor, with it’s expensive hotel, stores and restaurants once was all housing projects just on the border between DC and Maryland.

DC is changing.

Gentrification is visible everywhere. The country’s oldest city with an African-American majority is an African-American majority city no longer.

“Maybe now they will give us the vote,” the guy on the bench said.

Update: This morning’s Illinois Caucus voted support for what promises to be a slew of standardized test related New Business Items. NBI B opposes the misuse of standardized test results. The NBI describes the appropriate uses of testing data as those helping to describe students’ strengths and weaknesses and successful school practices, supporting struggling schools and informing teacher practice.

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