In an earlier post about the NEA and NCLB, I responded to a statement by Jim Horn of Schools Matter that local affiliates had been warned not to sign the Educator Roundtable petition which opposes NCLB reauthorization.
I said that as president of a local affiliate, I never saw such a warning.
Today I received a comment. But I’m always concerned that nobody goes back to read comments on earlier posts. So I reprint the exchange here:
August 10th, 2007 at e
Actually, the NEA sent out a national memo warning members not to sign the petition.
Since you did not get the memo:
From: Anderson, Melinda [NEA] [mailto:MAnderson@nea.org]
Sent: Wed 12/13/2006 12:37 PM
To: State-Presidents [AFF]; State-Executive-Directors [AFF]
Cc: State-GR-Directors [AFF]; State_Affiliate_Comm_Liaison; VanRoekel, Dennis [NEA]; Eskelsen, Lily [NEA]; NCUEA President [NEA]; NCHE President [NEA]; NCESP President [NEA]; Daniels, Anthony [NEA]; NEAR President [NEA]; Executive Staff [NEA]; FieldOps [NEA]; GR.Allstaff [NEA]; PR.AllStaff; Billirakis, Mike [NEA]; Cebulski, Mark [NEA]; Crowder, Carolyn [NEA]; Marks, Michael [NEA]; Pringle, Becky [NEA]; Smith, Marsha [NEA]
Subject: Message from Reg Weaver & John Wilson: NEA *Does Not* Endorse NCLB Petition
State Affiliate Presidents
State Affiliate Executive Directors
Beware: NEA Does Not Endorse Online NCLB Petition
We have important information to share about a group of education advocates/activists calling themselves the “Educator Roundtable.” (www.educatorroundtable.org ) This new organization has posted online a new anti-NCLB petition — A Petition Calling for the Dismantling of the No Child Left Behind Act. The group has just issued a press release (see text below) to officially launch its effort to obtain signatures for the petition.
Information about the petition and calls for signing it have been circulating on many email lists. Affiliates, NEA staff, and others are asking questions about the petition and whether or not NEA endorses it.
The short answer? Absolutely not.
While the initiators of the petition are well-meaning and share many of the same concerns we have with NCLB, the petition does not represent our views. It calls for the dismantling of NCLB and does not propose any positive changes or alternatives.
Please get the word out in your state that:
• Some of the petition’s initiators have been critical of NEA and our efforts around NCLB.
• The petition is not consistent with NEA’s Positive Agenda for ESEA or our messaging (see http://www.nea.org/esea for details).
• We would not want NEA affiliates to sign the petition or promote it. Instead direct our members and local affiliates to http://www.nea.org/lac/esea/index.html so they can email members of Congress about our Positive Agenda.
Have questions or need more information? Contact Joel Packer, Director, Education Policy and Practice Department, (202) 822-7329.
Thanks for all you continue to do to ensure great public schools for every child!
cc: State Affiliate Government Relations Directors
State Affiliate Public Relations Directors
Dennis Van Roekel
NEA Executive Committee
NEA Board of Directors
Chair, NEA Student Program
NEA Executive Staff
State ESEA Contacts
NEA Field Operations
That did not stop members from doing so, and in fact, organization within the NEA against the NEA “fix it” is growing…rapidly.
See, for example: http://www.eliminatenclb.org/index.htm
You can read our response to the NEA memo here:
Great writing btw…will add a link to you from our page.
August 10th, 2007 at e
So here’s what I’ve done.
When I received your comment, I gave IEA Government Relations a call. Now it is Friday afternoon and the IEA GR people are tied up for the most part in the legislative budget fight. But I did talk to Donna Prufrock from IEA GR, who I have talked to before. She never heard of the memo.
Now this doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It may say something about the effectiveness of NEA memos to local and state affiliates.
But I’ll pursue it. I’ll call Joel Packer, Director, Education Policy and Practice Department, (202) 822-7329 on Monday.
My view remains the same about fighting NCLB. Whether from the NEA or from independent groups, the battle today is against the Bush administration and those in Congress and the DOE who want to reauthorize the existing law. I have supported all efforts to change the law, encouraged my membership, friends and colleagues to do the same. And I plan to keep on doing that. I’m not going to get drawn into a battle against the NEA leadership on this. If the memo is accurate, while it is OK in my view for the NEA to promote its own approach, it is silly to stop others from opposing it in their own way. Then the IEA leadership is wrong.
Won’t be the first time.