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Tag: Politics & Policy Total: 61 results found.
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Earlier this month, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a groundbreaking study by the District Management Council's Nathan Levenson on how to improve both the quality and efficiency of special education. According to the results, the amount of money spent by school districts on special education varies greatly around the country. In contrast to the status-quo opinion, some districts that spend less than others are getting better academic outcomes for students.

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It should come as no surprise to educators that the National Education Association (NEA) has become the biggest contributor to partisan politics in the country. Year after year, the NEA spends millions on partisan causes and elections at the federal, state, and local levels, and takes liberal policy positions on issues ranging from immigration to gay marriage. Every summer, the NEA uses their July convention to pass a series of controversial resolutions aimed at solidifying their political power. While the issues are diverse, many have nothing to do with education or helping students in the classroom.   Continue Reading...

While most Americans were enjoying a festive Independence Day last week, the National Education Association was holding their annual conference in Washington, D.C. Beaten down after another solid year of negative press, declining membership, and legislative and legal battles, the NEA convention took on a somber and partisan tone in 2012.   Continue Reading...

NEA Currently 4th Largest Super PAC Contributor
posted by: Cindy Omlin | April 27, 2012, 09:26 PM

With education and labor issues being hotly debated across the country and the rise of "super" Political Action Committees (PACs), insiders have predicted that 2012 election spending will reach record levels. Beaten down after over two solid years of negative press, declining membership, and legislative and legal battles, the National Education Association is seeking to come back with a vengeance in 2012. The nation's largest union is currently being tracked as the 4th largest national super PAC contributor.   Continue Reading...

EIA Report: NEA Spends $18.8M on Advocacy Groups
posted by: Cindy Omlin | January 11, 2012, 12:49 AM
The Education Intelligence Agency, a popular education research blog run by union-watchdog Mike Antonucci, has analyzed the NEA's 2010-11 financial disclosure report and discovered that the largest teachers union in the country has given nearly $19 million of teacher dues, some collected by force, to advocacy groups and primarily left-leaning causes. Up $5 million from the previous year, the NEA has increased their advocacy spending despite a climate of declining membership and harsh budget realities.   Continue Reading...
Teacher Evaluation Plans in NCLB Waiver Proposals
posted by: Cindy Omlin | November 28, 2011, 11:53 PM
With the overhaul of No Child Left Behind taking longer than expected, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Obama administration introduced an NCLB waiver plan back in September that would allow states to apply for regulatory relief in exchange for key reforms. In the months following, while 11 states applied for the waivers, over half of the proposals did not outline specific teacher evaluation components.   Continue Reading...
The battle between teacher union push-back and the call to make public school teacher evaluations available to the public has been a topic of debate for over a year in California. Union officials claim the information should not be available to outsiders, while proponents argue that it is a critical part of creating a culture of transparency and accountability in the public schools. As the debate continues, a new bipartisan poll by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times reveals that the public not only favors releasing the information to the public, but districts should also factor in student test scores in the creation of teacher evaluations.   Continue Reading...
NEA & AFT Ties to Occupy Wall Street Protests
posted by: Cindy Omlin | October 27, 2011, 07:48 PM

Since the class warfare message of the Occupy Wall Street protests started nearly two months ago, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have taken every chance possible to align themselves in solidarity with the group of mostly underemployed college students and left-leaning activists. With AFT President Randi Weingarten joining in on protests and affiliates in Kentucky and Missouri taking part in protests of their own, the teacher unions are quick to point out that "public education, teachers and unions have increasingly come under attack from the One Percent."   Continue Reading...

In light of the labor battles brewing across the country, compulsory unionism has become a hot topic among education advocates and teachers nearly nationwide. Gaining national headlines lately is the traditionally union-friendly state of Michigan, and their new "Right to Teach" legislation that seeks to end forced unionism for public school teachers.   Continue Reading...
Wisconsin NEA Affiliate In the National Spotlight
posted by: Cindy Omlin | August 16, 2011, 08:40 PM
Since the labor battle erupted in Wisconsin in February, the state has been considered ground zero for the sweeping education and labor reform legislation debated nationwide. With new revelations from political spending watchdog groups and the state's NEA affiliate themselves, the Wisconsin Education Association Council is once again making national headlines for its fall from a onetime lobbying powerhouse to incurring massive layoffs.   Continue Reading...
NEA Denounces Teach for America
posted by: Alix | July 12, 2011, 03:55 PM
Teach for America, a non-profit organization that recruits recent college graduates and professionals to teach in high-need schools for two years, was lambasted at the NEA's annual conference for what they call efforts by TFA to "union bust" in districts across the country.   Continue Reading...
2011 NEA Convention: Higher Dues, Obama Endorsement
posted by: Alix | July 05, 2011, 07:08 PM
While most Americans were enjoying a festive Independence Day weekend, the National Education Association was holding their annual conference in Chicago. Beaten down after a solid year of negative press, declining membership, and legislative and legal battles, the NEA convention took on a surprisingly different tone in 2011.   Continue Reading...
NEA Supports AT&T Merger
posted by: Cindy Omlin | June 16, 2011, 07:52 PM
What do AT&T and several liberal advocacy groups have in common? According to recent news, organizations including the NAACP, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Education Association have all issued public statements of support in a new multi-billion dollar merger between telecom heavyweights AT&T and T Mobile.   Continue Reading...
The union watchdog group Education Intelligence Agency released an analysis of the National Education Association’s most recent IRS documents this week, shedding light on the astronomical amount the NEA and its state affiliates collect from teachers each year.  According to tax documents, the NEA amassed more than $1.5 billion in revenue in 2008-09, more than 90 percent of it in the form of union dues from teachers.   Continue Reading...
NEA Joins NAACP in Support of Big Banks
posted by: Cindy Omlin | March 24, 2011, 05:14 PM

 

One would assume that the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union, would have their hands full with the labor and education battles heating up all over the country, but they are once again meddling in partisan politics with lobbying Congress in support of banks and exorbitant debit card fees. The NEA joins the NAACP in backing legislation that would delay new limits on debit-card fees under the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Among the many components of the law, the new policy would limit and cap bank imposed debit card fees on consumers."While the Durbin amendment is a well-meaning attempt to benefit merchants of all sizes ... it is becoming clearer that it may have unintended consumer impacts," the NEA wrote in a letter to congressional leaders. "Further study is warranted to determine if the proposed federal controls on interchange fees for debit swipes ... will meaningfully benefit merchants and their consumers."Federal legislation was introduced earlier this month that would stop the Federal Reserve from finalizing rules that would drastically limit debit-card fees. Those rules were set to take effect in April, but a bill introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) would delay the rules for two years as the matter is studied.The NEA is just one of the non-banking groups spending countless dollars on lobbying for a cause that is unrelated to education. While this is nothing new for the NEA, it isn't sitting well with their liberal supporters who pushed the bill in 2010. There is no word about how Bank of America, NEA's preferred bank provider, stands to benefit from this delay.Do you think this is a wise use for membership dues?Comment below.Originally posted by Alix at AAE.

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New Teacher Evaluations Being Debated
posted by: Cindy Omlin | February 01, 2011, 07:53 PM
The debate over "value-added" methods of evaluating teachers has caused controversy all over the country. While most agree that we must find a way of fairly evaluating teachers, not many agree on the method. One common thread of a new evaluation system is a new focus on student achievement.   Continue Reading...
A recent report by the Education Intelligence Agency sheds light on the financial disclosures of the National Education Association in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The analysis reveals that the NEA spent $13 million dollars of member dues on a wide array of left-leaning advocacy groups and charities.   Continue Reading...

Is the "sacred cow" of the union, "last hired, first fired," losing support amongst teachers? AAE's 2010 member survey found that 70% of teachers disagree with the "last hired, first fired" policy and agree that tenure is not necessary to perform well as a teacher.  Continue Reading...

NEA Challenges Charter Movement in New Business Items
posted by: Alix | July 12, 2010, 06:08 PM

At their annual convention held earlier this month, the National Education Association heard a series of new business items (NBIs) that display their distaste for the charter movement: NBI 91, which failed to pass after debate, sought to start a counter-campaign to a number of documentaries about education reform and charters that will be playing in theaters across the country this year  Continue Reading...

Bad news this morning regarding teacher pensions, so I hope you've had your coffee. A recent study by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research states that teacher pensions nationwide are underfunded by nearly $1 trillion—three times the estimate of government officials. The difference in estimates is because teacher pensions, unlike their private counterparts, assume a much higher—if unrealistic—return on investment and enjoy more freedom than private pension funds.  Continue Reading...

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