Teaching Profession

NEA Delegates Reject Call to Oust Arne Duncan

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 03, 2011 1 min read

Well, the National Education Association’s delegates may not be very happy with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, but they don’t want to call for his ouster—at least not publicly.

The delegates to the Representative Assembly voted down New Business Item 22, which would have required the union to call for Duncan’s removal.

Had it passed, it would have been the first time the union approved such a policy at a Representative Assembly—but not the first time it’s called for the removal of the agency’s head. Recall its reaction in 2004, when then-Education Secretary Rod Paige called the union a “terrorist organization.”

There was a distinct feeling that delegates rejected the item primarily on the grounds of bad PR. Even those who spoke against the item didn’t exactly praise Duncan.

“We are not union thugs; let’s not give those who would destroy us any ammunition,” one Delaware delegate said.

The NEA has been pretty vocal in its criticism of Duncan. Yesterday, the delegates approved New Business Item C, which states, “NEA is appalled with Secretary Duncan’s practice of ...” and lists 13 frustrations with the education secretary.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.