State delegation meetings will take place this morning and tomorrow morning. Then the NEA Representative Assembly will begin at around 10AM tomorrow.
Hillary will speak on Tuesday,
Writing on her blog Diane Ravitch asks:
Will the NEA get a pledge from Hillary not to support non-union charters? Will Hillary agree to cut off federal funding of predatory for-profit charters? Will Lily get Hillary to speak out against misuse of testing? Will Hillary lay out a new vision for the federal role in education?
Those are good questions. It is what the NEA should have asked nine months ago before endorsing Clinton after promising not to rush an endorsement at last year’s RA.
They would have been good questions in 1999 when the NEA RA awarded Hillary Clinton their Friend of Education award.
That is the same award they are handing over this year to Tennessee Senator and education privateer, Lamar Alexander.
It doesn’t really matter what Hillary pledges to the RA delegates. She will say what she needs to say or say nothing at all.
I predict that the main thing the delegates will be discussing after Clinton’s July 5th speech is how long it took the 8,000 delegates to get through security to get into the hall. I recall it took three hours for me to get in when VP Joe Biden addressed us.
Following the killings in Orlando, I expect there will be plenty of proposals that address LGBT issues. But I also expect that like the Board of Directors proposal at last year’s RA calling for a union-wide fight against institutional racism as the focus of the work for the coming year, it will all lead to little in the way of action.
I apologize if this sounds cynical. I have nothing but respect for rank and file delegates who attend this seemingly endless convention and who engage in the debates over important education and social issues.
The murder of the innocent in Orlando deserves the attention of the NEA RA. They deserve real action as well. As did the deaths of the nine innocents in Charleston just prior to last year’s RA.
What they got were just words.
The dedication of delegates is not what is at issue. The problem is at the top.
Lamar Alexander, along with Senator Patty Murray, will receive this year’s Friend of Education award.
Ed Week’s Stephen Sawchuk wondered if Alexander will show up to receive it.
Even Alexander must wonder if he deserves it.