I want to add something to last night’s post on the NEA’s letter to members of Congress.
Alert readers noted that I changed my item minutes after posting. I cut a reference to the ‘D’ NEA gave Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska., for the 109th Congress. In preparing the item, I had read that on NEA’s site and written it in my notebook. But I pulled that sentence after the link in the item went to the wrong page. On that page, which was for NEA’s 2005 report card, Young was not graded.
After checking with NEA, I can confirm what was in my notebook last night: Young received a ‘D’ from the union for 2005-06 (here’s the link). NEA did not publish the grades for Young and Alaska’s senators in 2005 at the request of the NEA-Alaska, Randy Moody, NEA’s manager of federal advocacy, told me this morning. The state chapter changed its mind in 2006, and the national union published the grades for Young and the state’s senators.
As I pointed out last night, it’s ironic that NEA is encouraging House members to co-sponsor a bill introduced by Young, a member who has consistently opposed the union in the past. For more background, see here, here, here, and here.
Moody also explained why the union changed its grading policy in 2005 to include help members of Congress give the union, such as co-sponsoring specific bills.
“So many votes are procedural and sometimes very partisan,” he said. “There’s a lot of work members do—either positively or negatively—that isn’t reflected in an up-or-down vote.”
In the coming weeks, it’ll be interesting to see if members sign up to support the NEA’s favorite bills to improve their grades for 2007.
A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.