August 30, 2006

NEA Resolutions

Well, school is back in full swing. Education-related articles are popping up all over the place. One that I liked in particular was this one from English teacher Nancy Goodwin. Worth it for teachers and parents to read.

AND -- it's that time again! Time to have fun with the NEA (National Education Association) annual "Resolutions"!! Woo-hoo! As noted here at Colossus and elsewhere, some of these are real head-scratchers. Many essentially don't change from year to year, but here's a sampling of some resolution amendments from this year, as noted from the hard copy of the union monthly, NEA Today:

I-56. Ethnic-Minority Educators. (First paragraph): The National Education Association believes that multiracial teaching staffs are essential to the operation of schools. The Association deplores the current trend of diminishing numbers of ethnic-minority educators.

Essential to the operation of schools? Wow, that's pretty strong stuff. You mean that if there's not a single minority employed by a school -- that means the school isn't "operating properly?" Multi-culti mumbo-jumbo.

Here's one Mike from Down With Absolutes! will like:

H-3. The Right to Vote. (First paragraph): The National Education Association believes that the principle of one-person, one-vote must apply at all levels of government, including the election of the President of the United States.

Unlike Mike, however, who I feel is much more intellectually honest, I doubt the NEA would be so eager to include this amendment had John Kerry pulled out Ohio in 2004, won the electoral vote (and thus, the presidency), but still lost the popular vote by almost three million votes. (To contrast, Gore had about 500,000 more [popular] votes than George Bush in 2000.)

Continuing:

The Association opposes all actions that encourage or result in voter disenfranchisement. The Association supports voter education programs and uniform registration requirements without restrictive residency provisions or restrictive identification requirements. (My emphasis.)

What does "restrictive residency provisions" mean, exactly? I am hoping that it merely means that you should be able to register someplace, and that your registration would be forwarded to the proper locality. This isn't unreasonable.

Ah, but then we have the "restrictive identification requirement," i.e., mandated photo ID! As I noted back in early July, the NEA itself requires photo ID when members vote for its board of directors! Yeah, but we all know those NEA directors are more important than the President of the United States, right? One-person, one-vote ... as long as you don't check on whether that person is voting legally, eh?

I-1. Peace and International Relations. (Second paragraph): The Association supports the principles stated in the United Nations (UN) Charter and believes that the UN furthers world peace and promotes the rights of all people by preventing war, racism, and genocide.

Yeah. Tell that to Rwanda and Darfur. Or Israel. Or the Serbs. Etc.

Now here's a bold stance:

C-16. Telephone and the Internet. The National Education Association believes that children should be protected from exploitation via telephone and the Internet.

How 'bout this:

A-2. Educational Opportunity for All. (First sentence): The National Education Association believes that each student has the right to a free public education that should be suited to the needs of the individual and guaranteed by state constitutions and the United States Constitution.

Hmm. Where exactly does the U.S. Constitution mention "free public education"? Where does it mention "education" at all? The US Supreme Court has held that there is "no federal Constitutional right to an education;" education remains the domain of the individual states.

Then again, maybe the wording of this confuses me. Maybe the NEA in saying "believes" means to say that the US Constitution should guarantee such a right? If so, what accounts for this from July of this year (my emphasis):

After debate, NBI 79 was withdrawn by the delegate who introduced it. The item directed NEA to form a task force to study creating a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to guarantee every child in America a free, high-quality, public education. For a few sublime minutes, EIA was treated to the sound of NEA activists arguing against the federalization of public education. NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin mentioned the possibility of a federal court mandating vouchers if such an amendment existed, or teachers being subjected to educational malpractice lawsuits for violating the constitutional rights of students. Delegates painted pictures of all education policy being run by the current occupants of the White House and the current Congressional majority. The sweetest moment came when one delegate asked about "a clause in the Constitution that reserves powers to the states."

Guess they changed their minds ...?

Lastly, here's bold stance #2:

A-5. American Education Week. The National Education Association believes that American Education Week is an important observance during which positive attention should be focused on the contributions of public education and education employees.
Posted by Hube at August 30, 2006 05:04 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Hube -- they are caling for an amendment, as I read the resolution.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at August 30, 2006 08:26 PM

...but if they call for an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing free public education for all, it's an admission that no such right exists. What a dilemma!

Posted by: G Rex at August 31, 2006 10:45 AM

Just wondering...let's see if they're intent on keeping "restrictive identification requirements" if I decide to vote in the next FTA or UFT elections. What do you think would happen if, oh I don't know, 20,000 parents decided to vote on union reps and ignored the fact that they weren't eligible to vote in said election.

I'm sure they'd be waved right in.

Posted by: Duffy at September 4, 2006 07:54 PM