Well here it is, the Fourth of July. Independence Day for USA. I hope you all had a good 4th of July holiday.
NEA, the National Education Association, is holding their annual convention in Chicago. I read online from a couple of bloggers who are attending, that the NEA is doing two things that I really do not agree with; endorsing the re-election of President Barack Obama and raising our dues $10.00 annually for the next five years.
In my opinion, President Obama does not deserve a second term of office as President of the United States. Just sticking with my views regarding education and the Presidency, he has not done much for teachers or the students of this nation. Yes, he did get Congress to authorize bail out money to help save some teaching jobs during the 2010-11 school year (adding to the already staggering US debt!). Has he done anything regarding NCLB? Not that I'm aware of. When Senator Obama began his term as President, students were only being tested in English and Math. In far too many of our nations elementary schools, especially those with a high percentage of minority and low income students, English and Math are all those students are drilled in. Not taught, drilled, so they can hopefully do better on the TEST and demonstrate they improved when their scores are compared with the CLASS PRIOR to theirs. If so, yeah for the school, its teachers and students. If not, you teachers are not doing your job.
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. How about the hundreds of thousands of our children who are being left behind in being given the opportunity to learn history, geography, science, art, music, and physical education? Far too many students do not get the amount of instruction in those subject areas that the state department of education says they should get. But it doesn't matter, because until they reach junior high school (at least here in the Great Democrat People's Republica de California), students are never tested in history, geography, science, art, music and p.e. Does this mean Polski3 says students should be annually tested in all these subjects? Maybe. Why not? Doesn't most of the literate world test their students to determine if they will be moving on to the next educational level or sent to work in the rice paddy? Anyhow, I am against NEA endorsing President Obama for a second term. Oh, so who should the NEA endorse? How about NOBODY. How about the NEA declare that they are eager to meet and work with whomever is the next President of the United States to help their members have better pay, working conditions and benefits. Because if teachers are better paid, have better working conditions (such as not having to spend time fixing classroom desks) and benefits, they will be healthier and it will be better for the students. A healthy, happy teacher is the best person for a classroom.
As for raising my dues $10.00 annually, that is a dollar a month from my paycheck. Doesn't sound like much, but I do not agree with what NEA wants to do with my ten dollars....they want to use it for political purposes. To give to candidates and "political" organizations that do not necessarily represent my values, beliefs or politics. Here on the 4th of July, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence; the British colonists of America telling King George III that we do no longer wish to be part of his empire, no longer wish to be ruled by him or suffering from a lack of political power. We fought his soldiers to gain our independence. Two of my ancestors were part of the "patriot/rebel" forces (Peter Looney; North Carolina militia in what is now Tennessee, Samuel Gray left his farm and family to join two of his brothers and a bunch of rebel men now called the "Over Mountain Men," to go fight King George's men at a place called Kings Mountain.).
CTA (Calif. Teachers Assoc.) has a form that a member can fill out annually that diverts the portion of our dues from political action to the general fund. I plan to find out if NEA has a similar opportunity for teacher members to tell NEA that NO, I don't want you to use any of my dues money for political actions. It would be nice if we could get a rebate on that portion of our dues, but they won't do that.
I've read a number of times that the teachers unions do not really represent the views, beliefs or values of their teacher members. If you are still reading this missive, let me ask you these questions: Did you vote for your representative to the annual NEA convention? Did you express your views to your representative? If your answer is no, WHY NOT? It is apathy such as this that gives the "leadership" of CTA, NEA and other teachers unions the power that they want. YOU MUST BE INVOLVED! Don't sit back in silence! This nation would never have become the United States of America if too many of our ancestors just sat back and said, "oh well, I'll just pay King George more in taxes....or its ok to have a couple of soldiers living in my house....." GET INVOLVED. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
If NEA does indeed have a dues redirect from political action, I will post that information here in this blog.
Thanks for reading my thoughts, opinions and feelings. Have a safe summer!