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The NEA's Q & A
Washington Times ^ | September 18, 2003 | staff

Posted on 09/18/2003 12:26:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Edited on 07/12/2004 4:08:24 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

If urban-area teachers answer students' questions as carelessly and erroneously as the president of the National Education Association (NEA) answered the questions of his C-SPAN host and the network's callers, it becomes clear why big-city public-school students perform so poorly.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: education; nea
Pasadena teacher who assigned politically charged letter writing to resign*** Williams, a member of the teachers association and president of the Pasadena Educators Association, took the letters to Austin in March. Many of the students pleaded for legislators to spare field trips, textbooks and teacher salaries from the budget ax.***

NEA challenged on political outlays - Teacher's union fields "army of campaign workers"*** As much as one-third of the tax-exempt National Education Association's yearly $271 million income goes toward politically related activities, according to union documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

The documents show that the 2.7 million-member teacher's union spends millions annually to field what one critic calls an "army of campaign workers," while maintaining that it spends nothing on politics.

The NEA has avoided millions of dollars in federal and D.C. income taxes every year for political activities that are not tax-exempt, says the Landmark Legal Foundation, a Herndon-based public-interest group that has asked the IRS to investigate and recoup the money.***

Florida: GOP bill draws teachers' anger***The GOP-dominated Senate Governmental Oversight and Productivity Committee on Tuesday approved Fasano's proposal (SB 1652) to limit payroll deductions only for the cost of collective bargaining and grievance adjustment. The committee split along party lines, with six Republicans supporting the measure and three Democrats opposing it. "This bill is telling me to shut my mouth," said Maureen Dinnen, president of the teachers union, who was visibly shaking with anger after the vote. "We voted to support candidates who were chosen based on their educational positions."***

June 2000 - TEACHERS BACK DNC WITH MONEY, MUSCLE ***In Iowa, New Hampshire, and other key primary states, teachers knocked on doors, staffed telephone banks, and helped get out the vote for Gore. In New York, members of the United Federation of Teachers helped distribute more than one million fliers for Gore in one day. In Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Teachers Association contacted each of its 90,000 members three times by phone and by mail, urging them to vote for Gore over Bradley………….

The teachers and their unions have long been a force in American politics. From 1991 to 1999, for example, contributions to the Democratic Party from the NEA, AFT, and the Service Employees International Union, which includes some education workers, totaled $6.7 million, making teachers by far the party's biggest donor bloc, according to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity. The largest single contributor to Democrats - the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - gave $3.7 million in that period.***

1 posted on 09/18/2003 12:26:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
"persistently dangerous" - School-safety rankings - or just black marks?*** At the heart of the discrepancy may well be a reluctance on the part of educators to report campus crime fully. A survey by the National Association of School Resource Officers found that 89 percent of school police believe crime is already underreported. "It's the scarlet letter in education today," says Mr. Trump. "Administrators have said to me privately that they would rather be academically failing than be a dangerous school."***

To solve students' math problems, eucators go to school - Boosting teacher skills seen as key*** The report also recommends that colleges and universities boost their math requirements for education majors. Many schools require no more than a single math course for future teachers. ``It's a vicious cycle,'' Fortmann said. ``People don't learn math very well in school, they avoid math in college, and the cycle continues. What we're hoping to do here is break the cycle.'' ***

3 F's, they're out: Edison sees teacher shake-up***While the district does not have access to the standardized test scores of individual teachers' students, it can review results by subject and grade, she said. Since reading scores fell at Edison -- only 3 percent of freshmen and 4 percent of seniors were classified at least proficient in 2003 -- they decided to shake up the English department. ***

Boston Herald Lowell axes dozens of teachers who flunked state's English test - by Marie Szaniszlo, Friday, August 15, 2003 [Full text] More than two dozen Lowell teachers will not return to the classroom next month because they have failed to meet a state-mandated English-fluency requirement.

The district gave teachers until today, two weeks ahead of the Aug. 30 deadline the state Education Department set for superintendents to ensure teachers (excluding those teaching bilingual classes) are proficient in English.

For many longtime teachers with master's degrees and impeccable reputations, the dismissal is a bitter pill to swallow, particularly in a district that courted bilingual teachers in the 1980s, when Lowell saw an influx of immigrant students.

``If (a teacher's) fluency alone can change a student's life, I don't believe it,'' said Vera Tith, a third-grade teacher who came from Cambodia in 1981, earned her master's degree from UMass Lowell and built a career that has spanned nearly 20 years. ``I came to this country and worked very hard, and now I have to find a way to survive.''

Lowell Superintendent Karla Brooks Baehr did not return calls yesterday.

Kimberly Beck, a state Education Department spokeswoman, said the department has no statewide count yet of how many teachers may be affected by the proposition voters approved in November requiring English fluency. [End]

2 posted on 09/18/2003 12:35:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"why nearly 92 percent of the NEA's soft-money contributions went to the Democratic Party during the 2001-02 cycle; why 91 percent of its political action committee donations went to Democrats; and why 100 percent of its independent expenditures were on behalf of Democratic senatorial candidates. The NEA's only "special interests" are itself and the Democratic Party."

It will remain this way until teachers force the local, state and national "associations" to change. I am an agency fee payer. Supposedly, the percentage of my dues which are "political" are rebated to me. If 65% of teachers are other than democrat and they all demanded their dues back I can assure you things would change.

However, it isn't just political. Many teachers see the dems as the party which will give them higher salaries and benefits. They have no qualms about giving dems their money to get the bennies. One teacher even told me "it's not about who you vote for." In a way I could see his point though I couldn't agree. As the system now stands the way a teacher gets a raise is strictly political. Teachers can't walk into the principals office and ask for a raise. And while many think teachers are overpaid (I would agree we are well paid, I don't complain), they are like anyone else with a family. They'd like to get more. Who with a mortgage wouldn't?

I prefer not to fund politicians who don't agree with my views and have no problem opting out of the union.
3 posted on 09/18/2003 5:15:05 AM PDT by Conservateacher
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To: Conservateacher
Thank you for the informative post.

After bankrolling the unsuccessful gubernatorial bid of Democrat Bill McBride last year, the Florida Education Association is coming under attack by some Republican legislators because dues paid by its members help run political campaigns.

"I do not oppose the choice of people belonging to unions," said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey. "But teachers came to me with complaints of their money being spent to support candidates they didn't support." - " Florida: GOP bill draws teachers' anger" (LINK in Post #1)

4 posted on 09/18/2003 6:44:41 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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