At the beginning of November, the National Education Association sent a letter to members of Congress, telling them they would earn favorable grades for co-sponsoring bills the union supports.
By the Nov. 16 deadline, several members obliged, according to the Congressional Record. The five NEA-backed bills that would make the most dramatic changes to NCLB received 47 new co-sponsors before the NEA’s deadline. (For a complete list of bills that the NEA supports, see this list.)
More Democrats than Republicans jumped on the union’s bandwagon. Of the Republicans, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, was most notable. He added his name to three of the bills, two of which were sponsored by Democrats. As I’ve noted before, it’s ironic that NEA is encouraging House members to support Rep. Young’s bill to significantly rewrite NCLB. The union gave the Alaskan a ‘D’ for his legislative work for 2005-06.
It’s hard to tell whether the number of new co-sponsors is significant. But note that, by comparison, those same bills received just six new supporters in October. Perhaps, the NEA’s letter influenced a few decisions.
Senators, however, didn’t seem to take note. Only three senators added their names to the five major NCLB bills backed by the NEA.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.