Teaching Profession Opinion

How The NEA Ended Up So Opposed To Miller/McKeon

By Alexander Russo — September 13, 2007 1 min read
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I wrote on Monday that the CTA was coming out stronger against the Miller/McKeon draft than the NEA, which had -- until then -seemed tolerably pleased. And well they should have been. However, Andy (Eduwonk) Rotherham (pictured) wondered how I could ever have thought that the NEA was supportive of the Miller/McKeon draft. And you know he’s always right. Well, a look back at the week behind shows that it wasn’t at all clear to me (or anyone else) how things would turn out on Monday -- though perhaps it should have been. Read below to see how it all unfolded.Here’s how things unfolded, best as I can figure out:

For the first few days of last week everybody said that they hadn’t read enough of the details to respond (see EdWeek story here).

Even on Friday, Andy’s beloved David Hoff quoted NEA chief Reg Weaver as supporting key elements of the teacher quality proposal (which they later recanted).

A Wednesday September 5 letter from the NEA to the Committee included both lots of complaints and lots of praise for the draft (here), granted for only Title I. However, no one reported on this letter, which would have been key.

In the meantime, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the NYT editorial pages had all expressed concern that the Miller draft was giving too much away to the suburban-dominated union.

Only on Monday -- when Weaver’s testimony was released (PDF here) and Miller and Weaver got into it was it -- fully clear that the NEA wanted both a softer AYP system (which they’d gotten) and softer teacher quality standards (which they hadn’t), and that their California brethren were jumping in (as they have in the past) with both feet.

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