NEA Delegates Fight Their Own Power; Pres. Obama Phones In from Underwater?

While I was gone fishing, the National Education Association had its annual representative assembly. Apparently, nothing took place there like in 2009, when the outgoing NEA general counsel proclaimed the union’s true priorities. Actually, it’s more along the spirit of last year, though, when NEA delegates took both sides in the debate over using value-added measures for evaluations.

Reading NEA Assembly reports from the Education Intelligence Agency’s Mike Antonucci, like this one, have become a belly-tickling annual tradition:

[Delegates] approved [New Business Item] 22, which directs the union to develop a strategy to reverse the Citizens United decision through an amendment to the Constitution – even though NEA general counsel Alice O’Brien informed the delegates that such an amendment could adversely affect NEA’s own political action.

While officials of the nation’s largest teachers union had waxed sentimental about the organization’s declining membership and political power, some of its more passionate members look like they’ve traveled head on into self-cannibalizing mode.

As if that little tidbit didn’t cleanse the palate enough… Yesterday, given the chance to address NEA delegates, President Barack Obama (literally) phoned it in, reports Education Week‘s Stephen Sawchuk. Eliciting a chuckle, Obama (not-so-literally) phoned it in from the bottom of a river somewhere, judging by the garbled delivery.

The nice things I’ve said about the President’s efforts at education reform? Well, strangely enough, those were left completely out of his address to the teachers union activists. I wonder what DFER thinks about that — other than the fact it must be campaign season again….