Not reporting from the NEA RA. Clinton endorsed.

District of Columbia- JULY 5, 2016 – Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the representative assembly with Lily Eskelsen GarcÌa, President of the National Education Association at the 154th Annual Meeting, 95th Representative Assembly at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Tuesday July 5, 2016. (SCOTT ISKOWITZ/RA TODAY)

Following her speech to the 8,000 delegates at the National Education Association Representative Assembly, Hillary Clinton received the NEA endorsement for President.

No surprise there.

She received 84% of the delegate vote.

Some friends may have thought there was a larger Bernie contingent. And maybe at one time there was. But no longer. Except for a few boo-birds when Clinton swiftly mentioned charter schools in her speech, she was warmly received.

Her endorsement vote numbers are consistent with past Democrats running for President.

Libertarian teacher union basher Mike Antonucci reported:

The margin exceeds those President Obama received initially (79.8% in 2008) and for re-election (72% in 2011), but short of the margins achieved by John Kerry (86.5% in 2004), Al Gore (89.5% in 2000), and Bill Clinton (91.5% in 1996).

As usual Antonucci is right on the facts even if he wrong on his world view.

Facebook friend Kipp Dawson reacted to a previous blog post of mine:

Well written as always, Fred.

I add this:

An appeal to the wonderful supporters of, and fighters for, our children, our world, our planet:

Hillary Clinton is not, and will not be, our champion, or even our supporter, on education — or on any other major issue facing the people of the USA or the world.

No surprise.

Right now, in November, and after both November and January we need, and history calls on us to continue to build, the movement’s for justice, for our children, for our planet, which hold true promise for a world all people deserve.

Let us not give in to, or be derailed by, fights around the elections that could divide our people against one another.

People who vote for Clinton because they oppose Trump’s crude and open racism, xenophobia, etc., etc. are not an enemy of social justice. People who refuse to vote for Clinton because they just can’t stomach voting for more of the same problems we, and the victims of U.S. policies around the world, struggle with — these people also are not enemies of social justice.

Our real work continues.


I would just add this.

There are plenty of progressives running for down-ticket offices that have a better chance if Trump’s candidacy does well in bringing down the Republican Party in purple and swing states.

And if on the day after the November election Trump and his Party receive a good shellacking, I will have a smile on my face.

Then I will eat a hearty breakfast to gather my energy for the fights to come.

Keeping retirement weird. Puzzles and games about the union Clinton endorsement.


Former IEA President Bob Haisman sent me two letters this week. One came forwarded by IEA Retired Chair, Janet Kilgus. The other was printed in the IEA Retired, an online newsletter for IEA Retired members.

I resigned my position from the editorial committee of the IEA Insider last year after IEA Communications Director Charles McBarron refused to link any of the articles that were taken from this blog to this blog.

The two letters from Haisman were similar as straightforward messages to IEA retirees supporting the NEA’s endorsed candidate for President, Hillary Clinton.

I found this helpful since the NEA and President Lily Eskelsen Garcia have been quite silent about their early endorsement of Clinton, almost as if there was buyer’s remorse. AFT President Randi Weingarten has reduced herself to fan-tweets.

The only significant difference between the two Haisman letters is that the first one admitted that IEA retirees are not united on the Hillary Clinton endorsement and choice.

We know that this information might be received with some disagreement. We feel the best way to handle this controversy is straight on. Members need to know that the NEA and The IEA have procedures for Presidential Recommendations. There is a rigorous process for recommendation of a candidate for President.  ALL of those procedures were followed. The support for the Hillary Clinton recommendation was overwhelming.  

I found this admission to be a refreshing change for the IEA. Haisman acknowledged there was a continuing debate. Many IEA Retired members support Sanders.

Leadership is not normally happy with debate. Haisman is a character in the organization long famous for accusing rank and file of being anti-union if they disagree with leadership decisions.

The copy of Haisman’s letter in IEA Retired* dropped any mention that there was disagreement about the Clinton endorsement within our IEA Retired.

I played a little game with Haisman’s letter. Wherever he wrote Hillary Clinton’s name, I replaced it with Bernie Sanders’ name. You can play this game too. If you accept the proposition that all the statements about Clinton in Haisman’s letters are true  (which I don’t), with the exception of references about the candidades gender and Clinton’s job resume,  the statements in the letter remain true for Sanders as well.

So Haisman’s letter does nothing to solve the puzzle: Why the early, no-strings endorsement of Hillary Clinton?

Bob. Since your letter works with either name, please share what was the real reason for this endorsement?


*Bob Haisman, former IEA President talks about the IEA and NEA endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President.

Dear Retired Colleagues, The Illinois Education Association (IEA) and The National Education Association (NEA) are supporting Hillary Clinton for President in the March 15th Illinois Presidential Primary.

Last week I attended a workshop called “Member Voices,” put on by the NEA Government Relations Staff. It centered on educators finding their “political voice” and not shying away from speaking their minds about who they believe is the best candidate for president when it came to America’s school children, public schools and America’s public school teachers.

I hope you don’t mind if I use my voice for a moment to talk about the coming election. Hillary Clinton gets it.

As a lifelong advocate for all children, she understands the historic importance of public schools.

She’s fought for the rights of women and children since she graduated from law school and went to work for Mary Wright Edelman’s Children’s Defense Fund. Hillary Clinton supports the rights of teachers, including the right to collective bargaining, and favors more and equitable funding for schools. She wants positive changes made to public education achieved by working in collaboration with educators.

It is appropriate that the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia has re-focused our attention on the Supreme Court. Many cases that affect our Association’s future, woman rights, individual rights and voters’ rights, are expected to be heard in the next two years.

NEA and IEA strongly believe that, as president, Hillary Clinton will choose Supreme Court Justices who share the values of IEA/NEA members and other mainstream Americans. Hillary Clinton is a change maker and a fighter. When the cause is justice, she does not give up!

Like every good teacher, Hillary Clinton is focused on making a difference. I hope you will join with IEA/NEA and make a difference by supporting Hillary Clinton in the Illinois March Presidential Primary.

Bob Haisman – At Large Member of the IEA-Retired Council ––, 708 997 1993 Colleagues – Please visit NEA’s Election Website — The website has much more about Hillary’s positions, the process by which NEA used to recommend her …. Sign-UP on line – – Questions? Call Bob Haisman – 708 997 1993 Colleagues — Would you consider helping us reach out to other IEA Members? Please contact: Bob Haisman – 708 997 1993

Leaving Hillarytown.


-Arthur Goldstein blogs at NYC Educator.

Hillary Clinton opened her mouth the other day, and said she wouldn’t keep open any school that wasn’t better than average. She later clarified to say she meant good, rather than better than average. To me, that was not much of a distinction. I work in a good school, but I don’t delude myself that it’s because we are all super teachers. I’d say it’s because we have super kids, and that any school with such kids can do well. Just ask Geoffrey Canada, who had to dismiss entire cohorts to make himself look good. Ask Eva Moskowitz, with her got to go list.

For anyone who hasn’t noticed, there is a direct correlation between high poverty, high needs, and low test scores. Kids like the ones I serve are a drag on any school, because it turns out people who don’t know English tend to score poorly on standardized tests in English. Perhaps one day someone will do a study and prove it, and we’ll all be amazed. Until then, schools dominated by ELLs will be targeted. For example there was the one in Rhode Island, where they wanted to fire all the teachers. Obama and Duncan thought that was fantastic. (If I recall correctly, the teachers were kept on, but under worse working conditions. Another victory for the reformies.)

Despite this explanation in Diane Ravitch’s blog, and the convoluted story to which it links, I cannot rationalize this as Hillary having misspoken. While the feds don’t directly close schools, they’ve had massive influence in school closings anyway. For Hillary to even utter such a sentence indicates to me that she has drunk deeply of the reformy Kool-Aid that says teachers and schools are to blame. She does  not seem to have read Ravitch or considered what this reformy movement is all about. It also kind of dashes my hopes that she will advocate for a rational teacher evaluation system. The fact that Eli Broad contributes to her gives me even more pause.

Read the entire post here.

Clinton team walks back her math. Cunningham still talks “winners and losers.”

The Hillary Team was pretty busy today walking back her fuzzy math.

A video of her speaking in Iowa went viral.  The video has her supporting the school closing agenda of the corporate school reformers.

“I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t doing a better-than-average job,” she told the crowd.

Twitter and Facebook lit up with teachers furious at her and the leadership of the two national teacher unions that gave Clinton their early endorsement for president.

The Washington Post ran a brutal piece showing that using her fuzzy math, Clinton’s view would lead to closing every school in the country.

U.S. News and World Report jumped out with a defense of the corporate Democrat.

AFT President Randi Weingarten tweeted furiously.

I admit to a sense of distrust. When thousands of Chicagoans battled her pal Rahm Emanuel as he engaged in the largest closing of African American schools in U.S. history, there was not a word from Clinton.


Thousand says no to Rahm’s school closing. No Hillary. Photo credit: Fred Klonsky

Meanwhile another corporate school reformer and Democrat, Peter Cunningham, got a little mixed up about what went on at the Department of Education when he was a close advisor to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

I challenged him on Twitter about his defense of the benefits of Race to the Top.

Cunningham said I wouldn’t know anything about that since we in Illinois were losers and never got a Race to the Top grant.

That was news to me.  I very clearly remember standing at a microphone at a state convention speaking against the Illinois Education Association supporting the Performance Evaluation Reform Act which tied teacher performance reviews to student assessments. Cunningham’s boss, Arne Duncan, had demanded that each state must have legislation in place like that to qualify for a Race To the Top grant.

Illinois agreed to Duncan’s demands and now the state uses the discredited Value Added Measure to evaluate teacher performance.

Just like Hillary, Cunningham had to pull an Emily Litella and do a quick nevermind.

Cunningham may not work for the Department of Education anymore, but he still talks about schools, teachers and students as winners and losers.


NEA for Hillary next week.

Lily_Eskelsen_Garcia (1)

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia skyping for Hillary.

What has been rumored for several weeks is now pretty much a sure thing.

The NEA board of directors are meeting next week and they will go through the motions of taking a vote.

But an endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primary race is all but assured.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia has been making calls and having skype meetings with state leaders from around the country in anticipation of next weeks meeting, sending the message that she wants a Hillary endorsement.

In her talks with state union leaders around the country she has admitted that Bernie Sanders and the NEA are more often in 100% agreement on education issues but that Hillary is more electable.

This has echoes of the early no-strings Obama endorsement in 2012, although that was eventually brought to the floor of the NEA RA for a delegate vote. Since this is a party primary endorsement, a RA vote is not required.

Polls released today show Hillary down double digits to Sanders in New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton to get NEA endorsement next week?

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Two years ahead of the 2012 presidential election of Barak Obama, the NEA leadership called for a no-strings endorsement of him for a second term.

I had no expectation that the NEA would not eventually endorse a sitting Democratic president.

As a delegate to the NEA RA I voted to oppose an early no-strings endorsement.

I had hoped that there would be some political demands made before the deal was done. After all, this had not been an administration that had been very friendly to public education and teacher unions in the first term.

Two words: Arne Duncan.

Why the rush to endorse for the second term?

Naïve of me, perhaps. Or of them?

Rumor has it that NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia will follow the lead of her friend, AFT President Randi Weingarten, and move an NEA early endorsement of Hillary the first week in October.

I have to wonder who is being naïve now?

Considering it only from a pragmatic perspective, why on earth would the largest union in the country move to endorse Hillary at the moment she is in political free fall?

As in the case of Obama, what are we demanding for public schools from a third Clinton administration?

Might it include a break from her Wall Street hedge fund pals in Democrats for Education Reform and other corporate reform groups?

Could luck with that.

Sunday reads.

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From inside the classroom. Teaching immigrant students from the heart.

Watch Harold Washington take on Jane Byrne and Richie Daley in a 1983 debate. What he says about Byrne resonates today.

The complete guide to every eyewitness account of the Michael Brown killing.

Vastly outspending his opponents, Cuomo lost all of New York State outside of New York City.

Things get ugly in the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The violent disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers college in Guerrero state has caused a political earthquake the likes of which Mexico has not seen in generations — perhaps even since the revolution of 1910.

That makes it all the more baffling how little attention most people in the U.S. have paid to the unfolding tragedy. To understand the historical significance — and the moral and political gravity — of what is occurring, think of 9/11, of Sandy Hook, of the day JFK was assassinated. Mexico is a nation in shock — horrified, pained, bewildered.

These emotions have been swelling since late September but have become overpowering since Nov. 10, when Mexican Atty. Gen. Jesus Murillo Karam held a news conference to detail the federal government’s investigation into the students’ disappearance, which relies heavily on testimony from men who allegedly participated in their slayings.

Within hours of the media event, a spontaneous vigil formed at the Angel of Independence, an iconic monument in downtown Mexico City usually reserved for raucous soccer victory parties. The vigil later became a march to Murillo Karam’s headquarters. Nationwide there have been dozens of major demonstrations since the students went missing — most of them have been peaceful, but a significant few have turned violent.

Mexico is on the brink, and America is largely oblivious. Rubén Martínez