There were all sorts of quotes in the September 2005 issue of the NEA rag so I'll just list a few here, with pithy commentary.
From NEA President Reg Weaver, in his Viewpoint article: "Credibility is also very personal. This year, I stressed to delegates that we must preserve professional credibility by insisting upon the professionalism of all our education colleagues." Oh, Reg, if only the union truly acted that way.
In what must rank as one of the most coherent letters to the editor ever published by the NEA, a reader from San Francisco (of all places!) had this to say:
"I was pleased to see 'Teaching 9/11', since I'm always interested in hearing about teaching currentl global events. However, Robert Peterson does not seem to be teaching about 9/11, but rather about global economic injustice.
"The attacks of September 11 were carried out by people who were neither poor, nor acting on behalf of the world's poor. Their motivations were apparently religious and nationalistic. Let's dispel the myths of the right and left right now: Saddam did not aid Bin Laden, and Islamic fundamentalism terrorism is not retaliation for the sweatshops of Asia and the poverty of Africa. We can teach our kids to understand America's flaws and strengths honestly, without ascribing noble motivations to terrorists."
I would only add that there's no evidence that Saddam aided bin Laden in the September 11th attacks, but otherwise an eminently reasonable position to hold.
Here was an interesting tidbit. I wonder if NCLB had anything to do with this:
"Black and Hispanic 9-year-olds are closing the achievement gap in math and reading, according to the 2004 National Assessment of Educational Progress.
"Overall, White, Black, and Hispanic 9-year-olds scored higher, on average, in 2004 than in any previous year. At the same time, the White-Black gap in reading decreased from 44 points in 1971 to 26 points, and the White-Hispanic gap fell to 21 points."
It seems that America's kids are getting fatter. How much responsibility for changing this should schools accept? Should BMI (body mass index) be included on school report cards, as was discussed recently on other education blogs? Here's the factoid from NEA: "A campaign to fight fat among Singapore's children through mandatory exercise, wieght monitoring, and healthier lunch programs seems to be working. Ten percent are overweight, down from 14 percent 10 years ago."
This again from Reg Weaver on page 16: "Teachers are tired of elected officials 'acting' like they care about students when it's election time and then turning their backs on campaign promises later." Might I suggest then, Reg, that you stop giving my money to all those Democrats you give it to.
A couple lines below that quote shows what a wonderfully democratic organization NEA is: "NEA President Reg Weaver, who was elected without opposition to another three-year term...." And page 45, which describes some of the NEA Resolutions adopted at this summer's Representative Assembly, has the headline "Democracy in Action."
I'll skip a discussion of the adopted resolutions here--that's for a separate post.