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UEA representatives to NEA Board report on NEA Board of Directors Meeting

10/19/2011

UEA representatives to NEA Board report on NEA Board of Directors Meeting
Washington, DC, September 22-24, 2011

by NEA Directors Ryan Anderson & Sue Dickey

Thursday, September 22

 

After attending a legislative briefing for all Board members, we headed for Senator Lee’s and Senator Hatch’s offices in the morning followed by Congressman Bishop’s and Congressman Matheson’s House offices in the afternoon. We provided information on three major topics:

  • American Jobs Act – investing in public education is an effective catalyst for economic growth; school buildings should be conducive to learning, so fixing and modernizing schools helps our children learn and puts Americans back to work; when we save jobs in our nation’s public schools, students are the winners. Below are some of the points we made with our Congressional Leaders:
  • Investing 2% more in public education generates 3900 new jobs and $92 million in new personal income.  An equal tax cut generates less than half those gains.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the condition of our schools a grade of “D,” a reflection of health and safety conditions in which students and teachers teach and learn.  The average age of our public schools is more than 40years old.
  • Schools need an estimated $500 billion in repairs and upgrades.
  • An initial $50 billion would employ 500,000 workers (a third of the 1.5 million construction workers now unemployed).
  • The initial cost could be largely offset over 10 years by ending certain tax breaks. More than 330,000 education jobs have been lost since September 2008 and an additional 227,000 will be lost in the 2011-2012 school year. These lost education jobs will trigger the loss of nearly 70,000 jobs in other sectors.
  • Poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being. 
  • The many out-of-school factors most likely to limit student success are highly correlated with poverty.
  • The official child poverty rate rose by 18% between 2000 and 2009.
  • In 2009, 42% of our nation’s chidren lived in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty line.
  • Super Committee – must include in their recommendations a plan to put Americans back to work; investing in human capital is the best way to jump start economic recovery; cuts to Medicaid would be especially harmful as one-third of all children in the U.S. are served by Medicaid; Social Security and Medicare did not cause the nation’s deficit and should not be cut to address it; the plan should offer a balanced approach to deficit reduction and include revenues generated by making sure all pay their fair share
  • ESEA Reauthorization – current NCLB testing and accountability system has been recognized as flawed by policymakers on both sides of the aisle; NCLB’s undue emphasis on federally mandated, narrow student assessments as its primary accountability yardstick has led to mislabeling and sanctioning schools based on test scores and providing inadequate funding and support for those schools that are struggling; school performance determinations must be made using multiple measures, rather than relying on existing state tests, and could include factors such as graduation rates, student mobility or transfer rates, the number and percentage of students participating in rigorous coursework. We suggested replacing the “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP) system with one that recognizes schools that make progress toward teaching and learning goals and correctly identifies struggling schools in order to provide meaningful support instead of punishment.    

 

 

Friday, September 23

Executive Session

The meeting began with an Executive Session. President Van Roekel reported on several issues regarding the proposed NCLB waivers being offered by President Obama and the Department of Education.

 

Obama Administration NCLB Waiver Plan

The White House has outlined how states can get relief from provisions from ESEA (NCLB) in exchange for serious state-led efforts to close achievement gaps, promote rigorous accountability, and ensure that all students “are on track to graduate college- and career-ready.”  President Obama said that the purpose is not to give states and districts a reprieve from accountability, but rather to unleash energy to improve our schools at the local level. 

 

Talking points in support of the waiver proposal include the following:

  • Students, educators, school districts, and states all need relief as quickly as possible from the undue burdens caused by the law and its regulations.
  • This package is an important interim step for relief.
  • Working with Congress to make comprehensive changes during the reauthorization process remains the ultimate goal.
  • Teachers and educators closest to classrooms understand best what students need.
  • This proposal
    • allows for additional locally developed strategies that focus on innovation, and professional judgment tailored to the student population;
    • preserves more flexibility for the rural districts;
    • does away with the punitive AP system and requires states to set “ambitious, but achievable” annual measurable objectives instead of requiring 100% of students to meet an arbitrary benchmark on a particular day of the school year;
    • gives more flexibility to local needs and promotes more school district efficiency, collaboration, and strategic planning;
    • This proposal
      • maintains a commitment to civil rights and to student success, with a focus on children of color and those in poverty;
      • removes harmful labeling of schools and instead recognizes the lowest 5% of Title I schools as the nation’s “Priority Schools;”
      • preserves a commitment to closing the achievement gaps by continuing to disaggregate data.
    • There is a stronger recognition of the profession of teaching and its complexities because it
      • recognizes collective bargaining as a process for innovation and positive change;
      • respects educators by creating time fro planning and piloting prior to requiring implementation of teacher and principal evaluation systems;
      • focuses on better, stronger professional development that is tied to supporting great teaching and in sync with teacher evaluation systems;
      • respects the views and judgments of teachers by guaranteeing them a seat at the decision-making table.
    • This is an improved process because
      • applications for waivers are open and transparent.
      • the package calls not only for civil rights organizations and parents to be involved, but students themselves as well.

 

President’s Overview

After an Executive Session of the Board, President Van Roekel officially began the meeting by giving an overview of the agenda and the business that the Board would cover during the two-day meeting. He also discussed the results of several Board surveys that dealt with the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Directors.

Headline News: The leaders of NEA’s constituency groups each gave a brief report.

  • National Council of Higher Education President Jim Rice reported that Higher Ed membership now surpasses 215,000 and is growing rapidly, thanks to new organizing strategies supported by NEA. More locals are now able to bargain with NEA’s assistance, and professional issues are discussed through the NCHE publications.

  • National Council of Urban Education Associations Vice President reported on ways large urban locals are assisted in meeting the needs of members through the communications (Facebook, website, etc.) and training (two conferences yearly) provided by NCUEA.

  • National Council for Education Support Professionals President Laura Montgomery described the leadership and purpose of NCESP, and how it helps ESP locals nationwide to be stronger. 

  • National Council of State Education Associations Kevin Gill, state president of Mississippi, described how NCSEA helps all state affiliates through training and support for state officers.

  • NEA-Retired Executive Council President Tom Curran reported that NEA Retired membership is nearly 300,000. Retired members are a huge resource that can assist all state affiliates. Through the Intergenerational Mentoring Program, retired members work with beginning teachers to help strengthen the profession. Retirees are strong advocates for protecting state pension programs, Social Security, and Medicare for all future retirees.  

  • Advisory Committee of Student Members Chairperson Tommie Leaders described the Student Political Action Movement that encourages student members to be politically active at the state and national levels.

 

Actions of the Board

The Board took the following actions:

  • Elected Tom Brenner, Tim Graham, Kathy Vetter, and Pam Michelson to serve on the NEA Program and Budget Committee
  • Approved appointments to all NEA Standing and Advisory Committees, including Ryan Anderson’s appointment to UniServ Advisory Committee and Sue Dickey’s appointment to Membership Service& Affiliate Relationships Committee.
  • Approved the 2012-2014 Strategic Framework for the Strategic Plan and Budget (see Secretary Treasurer Report for more specific info)
  • Unanimously approved an allocation of up to $5,000,000 from the Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund (see detailed information below) to support the campaign to defeat Ohio State Senate Bill 5 (SB5) which enacted an all-out attack on public employees and the union movement in Ohio, and potentially nationally.
  •  Unanimously approved an allocation of $90,754 from the NEA Contingency Fund for implementation of the 2011 New business Items adopted by the NEA Representative Assembly
  • Adopted a motion to direct that staff provide a written explanation for any difference between the amount a Board member submitted for reimbursement and the amount actually reimbursed.

The NEA Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund

This Fund began with a carry-over of $8,056,561, and dues collections for 2010-11 are projected to be $13,275,000.  Thus, the total amount available in the 2010-11 membership year for ballot measures and legislative crises is projected to be $21,331,561.  As of August 31, 2011, NEA had approved $9,435,660 in assistance to 11 state affiliates for ballot measure campaigns, $10,682,768 in assistance to 23 state affiliates for legislative crises, and $2,500,000 for national lobby-campaign efforts related to ESEA reauthorization. The NEA Board of Directors allocated $5,000,000 for the newly approved Affiliate Defense Fund, a designated account within the Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund set up to provide a targeted and collaborative strategy for supporting affiliates’ efforts to defend against unprecedented attacks.

NEA & the American Labor Movement

Michael Edwards, Director of NEA Labor Relations Department described how NEA evolved into a labor organization dating back to its beginnings in 1857.  As early as 1911, Margaret Haley was advocating for teachers to form a labor union. After the establishment of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, private sector workers were given the right to organize and collectively bargain, but public sector workers still could not. Meanwhile, educators were becoming younger, better educated and more male. By the 1960’s, teachers could be fired for a whole host of items, including being married, participating in electoral campaigns, incurring debts, or contacting parents without permission, and pay was still abysmal. By 1961, New York City teachers overwhelmingly voted to embrace collective bargaining, but selected AFT to be their bargaining representative, despite vastly greater numbers of NEA members. The NEA realized that it needed to change in order to meet the changing needs/desires of its members, or be in danger of losing members to the AFT. Working diligently to organize and win bargaining rights for its affiliates, the NEA entered the labor movement and began representing members in a new way. Although the NEA has never chosen to affiliate directly with the AFL-CIO (four attempts to do so failed at NEA RA’s), we have forged a cooperative working relationship, and almost 1 in 4 NEA members belong to merged locals or states. The NEA works collaboratively with many other labor unions to conduct focused campaigns to respond to the assaults on workers’ rights nationwide. Today, the NEA remains the largest, most powerful labor union in America.

 

Leading the Profession

Becky Pringle, NEA Secretary Treasurer, and Bill Raabe, Director of Center for Great Public Schools Department, described how NEA will begin to meet immediate needs and long term commitments to public education and its members. In partnership with state and local affiliates and members, NEA will be the leading voice and advocate for the quality of public education and of education professions. This initiative will focus NEA’s existing work in this area, implement RA directives, look for organizing opportunities, use our message framework, and prioritize our work. Some of the immediate steps that have been taken resulted in: a charge for the Professional Standards and Practice Committee to examine and analyze research and practice on mentorship, peer assistance, and peer assistance and review programs; and charges to the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching that require development of a teacher-inspired, student-centered definition of effective teachers and effective teaching, crafting a new vision for the teaching profession, and develop a set of recommendations for the union, education leaders, and policymakers to strengthen the teaching profession and the role of teachers in leading and governing their own profession. The question will be how to use and implement the recommendations created by these committees. Additionally, the NEA will still be working on the Priority Schools Project and attempting to determine what are the indicators for Great Public Schools. The biggest challenge for NEA will be to focus and to have a clear, collaborative direction involving local and state affiliates.

 

Reframing the Education Debate

John Stocks, Executive Director introduced Jim Testerman, who chaired the Work Group that surveyed and analyzed member and general public surveys. Results form the basis for NEA actions which need to ensure that the public is aware that teachers are deeply committed to the success of every child and NEA’s agenda puts students at the center of reform. Teachers are the most trusted group when it comes to improving public schools. Testerman gave the Board recommendations for communicating NEA’s positions on education reform. The NEA believes that: 1) all (including public officials) must be held accountable for our children’s success; 2) we must invest in the classroom priorities that build the foundation for student learning; 3) we must ensure every student has a qualified, caring, committed teacher.

 

The NEA/State Affiliate Working Group released its message guide, “Reframing the Education Debate” as part of the National Message Project.  NEA conducted both member and public/voter research; to affirm national findings, 21 states conducted the same member survey in their states; and 11 states conducted the public survey.

 

The kit was designed to provide a framework to help shape message and can be used in communications with members and the external public, such as the media, elected officials, policy makers, parents, neighbors, and community leaders.  The message framework is outlined briefly below.

 

Core Message:

  • America’s teachers are on the front lines of education every day.  We became educators because we care deeply about out children’s future and we are committed to the success of every child.
  • Our classroom experience has taught us that the only way to guarantee our children’s future – and our own – is to put students at the center of education reform and make a nationwide commitment to hold all of us accountable for our student’s success – teachers, students, parents, and elected officials.
  • Invest in the classroom priorities that build the foundation for student learning.
  • Ensure that every student has a qualified, caring, and committed teacher in the classroom.

GLBT Observance

Nichole DeVore and Frank Burger, Co-chairs of the GLBT Caucus, introduced guest speaker Graeme Taylor, who spoke on the challenges faced by GLBT students. Fourteen year-old Graeme, whose parents are teachers and NEA members, gained notoriety by speaking out in favor of an NEA member Michigan teacher who was suspended for removing a student from class for making anti-gay slurs. Jay McDowell, an NEA teacher in Howell, Michigan, was temporarily suspended after telling a student wearing a Confederate flag and a student making anti-gay remarks to get out of his class. At the next school board meeting, sophomore high-school student Graeme Taylor came to McDowell's defense, thanking the teacher for doing "an amazing thing" in a town home to the KKK, and urging the school board to give McDowell his pay and reverse the disciplinary action. What McDowell tried to do, said Taylor, was move the needle ever so slightly in the other direction and defend GLBT kids who have found hallway torment to be status quo. “He did an amazing thing. He did something that’s inspired a lot of people. And whenever – ever- I have a teacher stand up for me like that, they change in my eyes. I support Jay McDowell, and I hope you do too.” 

 

Graeme told of his own experiences as a young gay boy dealing with school and friends. While he has experienced great support from his parents, teachers and friends, he is concerned about all the GLBT students who are not as lucky. Many school districts still have policies that fail to support GLBT students and allow bullying to take place. Education employees are the first line of defense for all students. Graeme said, “I’ve been in classrooms where children have said the worst things - the kinds of things that drove me to a suicide attempt when I was only 9 years old.  These are the things that hurt a lot.  There is a silent holocaust out there, in which an estimated 6 million gay people every year kill themselves.”

He asked all educators to go to the www.nea.org/bullyfree and take the pledge to stop bullying. Another resource which can provide a comprehensive guide for elementary schools with tools, lessons and resources to embrace family diversity, avoid gender stereotyping, and end bullying & name calling can be accessed at www.welcomingschools.org. Graeme ended his remarks by saying, “Make no mistake about it, educators.  Students count on you to stand up for goodness.  Without it, everything you teach is empty.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJBvdfdAQjs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOIIwmVbzw

 

Report of the Vice President

Lily Eskelsen, NEA Vice President, reported on her activities, including: being appointed to serve on the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  Its mission is to develop, implement, and coordinate education programs and initiatives at the DOE and other agencies that focus on improvements of education opportunities and outcomes for Hispanics of all ages; meeting with a coalition of classified employee groups; progress on federal legislation for a National ESP of the Year; Let’s Move Campaign (child obesity/nutrition); Obama’s Jobs Bill (and clarification that the funding for education jobs does include ESP); the Task Force on For Profit Colleges & Universities; and attending the White House announcement of the waivers for NCLB (which NEA supports because it does not seem likely that the ESEA will be reauthorized this year). In order to avoid the draconian penalties that most districts and states will be facing by 2014, the waivers include elimination of AYP; maintains the focus on high poverty priority schools; protects the professional voice of educators in collective bargaining and requires consent from the teachers organization to an agreed upon evaluation process; and requires teacher and principal evaluations to use multiple, valid measures.

 

Report of the Executive Director

John Stocks, Executive Director, reported on some of his activities with a few positive highlights including: completion of the NEA operational review; verification of Alternative Dues Collection systems; building a culture of organizing; using technology for recruiting and dues payment; surveying the value proposition of membership; focusing on state affiliates to assist them when their membership is under attack; selecting Barby Halstead-Worrell as Director of Field Operations; selecting Bill Raabe as Director for the Center for Great Public Schools; continuing with the minority outreach programs; and focusing on building strong affiliates and priority schools as NEA’s primary goals for the 2012-2014 budget cycle.

 

Ongoing Challenges to our Association as reported by John Stocks

Public perception of the public education system and unions remains critical to the Association’s future. Education reformers are able to enact radical plans because only about one fifth of the public thinks that the nation’s schools should be graded “A or B.” As a result, there is a national discussion about how to improve schools and teachers.  47% of the public think that unions have hurt public education (PDK/Gallup 2011 report). Efforts to build a resonant message and to significantly improve public education must continue if we are to win in the long term.

 

With union membership at the lowest level in 70 years, few voters enjoy the benefits of collectively bargained contracts, thus few voters personally appreciate the benefits of collectively bargained contracts.These are challenging times for the entire Association.  SEAs have been weakened, and this has weakened the entire Association. There is an acute need for the NEA’s leadership and targeted support, for clear strategy and disciplined action.

 

We do have some positive, even hopeful, things going on in the NEA.  Academic achievement overall is growing; the achievement gap is closing; we are having deeper communication with members at the state and local level; there has been a sharp increase in member involvement; through data bases, we are able to track membership more efficiently; the culture of organizing is developing with members becoming more engaged through one on one dialogue; our priority schools campaign is further establishing us as the positive voice for struggling schools; public perception of schools has increased: 77% of parents grade the school of their oldest child as A or B; conservative movement has put the success of public education at the front of political discussions, and it is now being tied to the survival of the middle class.

 

We also have to deal with immediate threats to our membership. By November we can project membership for the end of the fiscal year. If AL comes in at 90% of “flipped” members; WI comes in at 80%; and AZ comes in at 80% - then we will have met our budgeted loss of members, without yet considering the losses in other states.   In OH we are engaged in the fight over voter registration and identification. There are strong indicators that if we can win in OH, we can stop many future attack efforts. Our biggest threat to ESP is privatization, and the only way to fight privatization is quality – we cannot compete on cost.

 

Report of General Counsel

Alice O’Brien, General Counsel, reported on how bargaining laws are changing nationwide. There are three cases involving these changes. Three key changes: collective bargaining eliminated except base wages are being challenged as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Idaho Education case abolishes contract status (tenure) for new teachers, requires evaluations 50% based on “objective measures”; challenge to SB 736 as a violation of state constitutional right to bargain for Career Status/ Tenure – 12 states that previously had tenure as statutory protections no longer have that. Only 39 states now have due process protections for career teachers; down from 48. A few of the cases that NEA is pursuing include:

 

  • AEA v. Bentley (11th Circuit): Completed briefing before the Eleventh Circuit defending

the trial court’s preliminary injunction against the enforcement of S.B. 2 (enacted as Act 2010-761). The case challenges the constitutionality of the Act, which prohibits public employees, on pain of criminal penalties, from "arrang[ing] by payroll deduction or otherwise" for payments of dues to any membership organization that engages in "political activity," which the law defines in broad and unclear terms.

 

  • Buffalo Federation of Teachers v. Buffalo Control Board (N.D.N.Y.): Completed briefing

on motions to reopen the federal case in this long running dispute between the Buffalo Federation of Teachers (BTF) and the Buffalo Control Board over the three year wage freeze the Board instituted in 2003.

 

  • Thaxton v. OEA (S. D. Ohio): Defending OEA against this National Right to Work lawsuit,

UFCW v. Brewer (D. Arizona): Intervened and filed for a preliminary injunction against

enforcement of SB 1365, which prohibits all unions in Arizona except a favored few from collecting dues by payroll deduction unless they disclose to the employer in advance how much they intend to expend on “political activities” defined to include both “political issue advocacy” and any support or opposition to any “PAC or similar organization.” The penalty for an inaccurate disclosure is up to $10,000 per violation.

We have challenged the law as a violation of the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Argument on the preliminary injunction was on September 21st and AEA won the injunction.

 

  • East Providence School Committee v. East Providence Education Association (R.I.

Supreme Court): Drafted merits brief on behalf of RI affiliate seeking to overturn trial court ruling that school districts may unilaterally implement changes to employment terms and conditions whenever necessary to comply with state statutory provision requiring school districts not to operate at a deficit.

 

  • Idaho Education Association v. Luna (Fourth Judicial District, Ida County, Idaho):

Completed briefing and argument in suit filed on behalf of IEA, and its members, against SB 1108, which abolishes renewable contract status for all teachers (except those who held renewable contract status as of Jan. 31, 2011), require evaluations 50% based on “objective measure[s]” of student growth, limits procedural challenges against discharge, limits all collective bargaining agreements to one year, provides that all existing agreements expired as of June 30, 2011, and repeals the early retirement program for teachers.

Saturday, September 24/ Special Presentation

Pat Dolan, noted consultant on school reform and author of Restructuring Our Schools, A Primer on Systemic Change, discussed the evolution of the decision-making structure of public education. He believes that the main purpose of unionism is to provide “voice” for members. The NEA BOD began small-group discussions in an effort to analyze NEA’s role in the current political, cultural, and public education landscape.  The initial discussions were in response to remarks by Dr. Patrick Dolan in which he presented a perspective of an Association and public education out of sync. In his opening remarks, he said that, “We add authentic voice to those who have no voice.”  He then provided a historical perspective (pre-NCLB) of the four roles of public education:

  • citizenship in democracy
  • social justice
  • development of the child
  • academic achievement

NCLB and resulting policy and practice have nearly eliminated all but a very narrow sliver of academic achievement. With the implementation of No Child Left Behind, a very narrow interpretation of academic achievement (with emphasis on only a few academic areas), shifted the focus of public education away from the other traditional areas of development of the child, social justice, and citizen democracy. Now with the development of Common State Standards for all academic areas, the decision-making has again been shifted away from the local and site to the federal and state. With Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants, the power and decisions have been taken away from the local level and shifted to the top, yet teacher evaluations are tied to classroom performance at the site level. This has enormous implications for NEA and all of its affiliates. Dolan warned the Board that education systems are being forced to move entirely too fast to restructure education with little or no resources, and that NEA needs to slow the process down for the sake of the students. He also emphasized that members need to be able to understand and utilize research to aid in the process of school reform.

 Below is the link to the first video of Dr. Dolan sharing his perspective of the new reality for public schools.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4G2cjmC8Uk

 

Report of the Secretary Treasurer

Becky Pringle, Secretary Treasurer, reported that membership continues to drop, with a total loss this year of over 51,000 certified full and part time members (a 2.2% decrease); and a loss of 3,394 of ESP (a .7% decrease). However, on a positive note student membership increased 2,792, Higher Education membership increased 3,933, and retired membership is up 14,483 (a 5% increase). Appropriate budget adjustments have been made to accommodate the membership losses, and the NEA continues to have a balanced budget that will meet members’ needs. The Contingency Fund has a balance of $2.89 million after deductions for a $10,000 contribution to the Health Information Network Disaster Relief Fund and $90,754 to pay for New Business Items passed at the 2011 Representative Assembly.

Pringle then presented the framework for the 2012-2014 Strategic Plan and Budget. The NEA shared priorities include: communications, organizing, Great Public Schools, advocacy, and fiscal health. These translate to two specific Strategic Goals: 1) Strong Affiliates for Great Public Schools – preserving the voice of education professionals is critical to the advancement of public education in America; and 2) Uniting the Nation for Great Public Schools – all of America’s students deserve to be educated in a great public school, and students at greatest risk must be a Priority. The primary function of goal one is to assist affiliates in fending off attacks to member rights and promoting strategies designed to enhance public education, by providing financial support, technical assistance, field support, member engagement support, communications support, and facilitating the sharing of best practices throughout the association. In partnership with state and local affiliates,  goal area two will provide support and advocacy, build organizational capacity, foster Association and member led school transformation and pursue state and district level policies that support great public schools for all students. Struggling schools will be targeted for intensive support and lessons learned will be shared at the local and state levels.

American Indian/Alaska Native Observance

Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of The American Indian is a Pawnee Nation citizen, attorney, law professor and Civil Rights and Indian Rights Activist. Known as the “briefcase warrior”, Gover discussed the fact that groups other than Native Americans have defined who they are, and those who know the most, Native Americans themselves, are not the ones who have defined their own history and culture. Stereotypes of American Indians are often negative and extremely destructive, especially to the youth. American Indian children and teenagers are committing suicide at more than three times the rate of the overall youth populations. Bullying has emerged as a contributing factor. NEA thinks it’s important that educators know about the link between bullying and suicide. The National Museum seeks to correct the misconceptions and distortions of history and the present regarding American Indians.

Kevin Gover is Director of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). 

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is the eighteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans. The museum works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the Indian voice.  Extensive collections encompass more that 800,000 works of extraordinary aesthetic, religious, and historical significance, as well as articles produced for everyday, utilitarian use. The collections span all major culture areas of the Americas, representing virtually all tribes of the United States.  NMAI actively strives to find new approaches to the study and representation of the history, materials, and cultures of Native peoples.

 

Board Discussion Groups

Following lunch, the Board broke into groups of 10 to have in-depth discussions on five key questions pertaining to the future of education policy making and NEA’s response to a rapidly changing education environment that were in response to the issues raised by Pat Dolan’s presentation. Two questions also dealt with implementation of NEA’s newly adopted Strategic Goals for 2012-2014.

Education International World Congress         

The eight NEA Board members who were elected delegates reported on meetings and activities of the Education International World Congress held in Cape Town, South Africa in July. There were 129 NEA members who attended the Congress. President Van Roekel was elected as Vice President for North America.

 

Educators for Obama

President Van Roekel announced that members can go to www.educationvotes.org/le to access templates for writing letters to the editor to tell our own stories and why it is important for public education that we support President Obama for re-election.

Respectfully submitted by your NEA Directors:

Ryan Anderson kumquatry@hotmail.com

Sue Dickey sdickey53@yahoo.com

 

 

Important Reminder: Sign up as an education advocate at www.EducationVotes.NEA.org

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