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Posts tagged ‘neara09’

Why the 2010 Census Matters to Your School

You may already know that  Census numbers determine Congressional representation and state legislative districts, but that’s not all.

“Federal dollars for our schools and students are allocated based on the number of people in each school district… the federal government allocates over $300 billion each year — $300 billion! — to states and communities based on Census data. Over 10 years, that’s an amazing $3 trillion,” said NEA Executive Committee member Len Paolillo.

Among the many programs the Census affects are Title 1 and special education grants, plus college tuition grants and loan programs, not to mention Eisenhower state professional development grants, Native American employment and training programs, funding for senior centers and services to domestic violence and child victims.

During the 2009 NEA Representative Assembly delegates passed a New Business Item instructing NEA to take specific actions to ensure that Census 2010 be done fairly and accurately. Among those actions, it called for targeted assistance to schools near “hard to count” census tracts, especially where families might not speak English, and it also encourages state and local affiliates to become “Census partners” and even create opportunities for current and retired educators to become enumerators.

NEA is already partnering with the Census Bureau to publicize the Census In Schools (CIS) program. In September, 2009, CIS materials – lesson pans and other curriculum materials – are to be mailed to every public school across the country to help educators, students, and the community become key players in ensuring a complete count.

Delegates Wrap Up Business in San Diego

Connecticut delegates express their support for one of 87 new business items that they voted on during four days of business at the NEA RA in San Diego. Delegates wrapped up their final business session late on July 6.

Connecticut delegates express their support for one of 87 new business items that they voted on during four days of business at the NEA RA in San Diego. Delegates wrapped up their final business session late on July 6.

The last day of the NEA RA saw a heartfelt, spirited celebration of a leader whom President Dennis Van Roekel called “a legal superhero”  — retiring NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin. Van Roekel also conferred the NEA’s 2009 Friend of Education award on Linda Darling-Hammond, acted on new business items and resolutions, and greeted newly-elected NEA officers.

Chanin is retiring after 41 years as NEA’s top attorney. He was saluted by delegates from across the country for his work on critical issues such as collective bargaining, desegregation, vouchers and education funding. During his time as NEA general counsel, Chanin argued five cases before the U.S. Supreme Court – winning four of them – and filed 25 briefs.

NEA Friend of Education Linda Darling- Hammond, professor of education at Stanford University, told the assembly that public schools are under attack, but it’s the system’s fault, not the people’s. It is up to educators to stand up and help lead a reform movement that invests in high quality teaching, equitable schools and real accountability, she said. “Teachers can transform schools,” Darling-Hammond challenged the delegates. “Do we have the will? Do we have the courage?”

President Obama sent a video greeting to NEA delegates that continued the administration’s theme of working with educators on key reform efforts.

You can watch additional videos from the 2009 NEA RA, including an excerpt from National Teacher of the Year and CEA member Anthony Mullen’s speech, by clicking here.

Click “read more…” below for more photos from the CEA delegation.

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CEA’s Own Recognized at NEA RA

Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen from Greenwich, CT speaks at the NEA RA today.

Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen from Greenwich, CT speaks at the NEA RA today.

CEA member, Greenwich Education Association member, and National Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen, was recognized today at the NEA RA.  CEA delegates were proud to see one of their own in the spotlight.

After 21 years as a New York City police officer, Anthony Mullen decided to “exchange a pair of handcuffs for a set of textbooks,” and for that his students, so many of them inspired to graduate by this Connecticut teacher, can be thankful.

Mullen, who won the National Teacher of the Year award from President Barack Obama this year, told the Representative Assembly today that “the ability to graduate from high school is a fundamental right.”

Every 30 seconds, another student drops out of school, Mullen told the delegates. That’s more than 1 million a year — including a disproportionate number of poor and minority students. “Shouldn’t these shocking statistics be treated as a national crisis rather than a postscript to a failed education?” he asked.

Mullen (third from right) poses with NEA President Dennis Van Roekel (at left) and other education leaders on the pitching mound at PETCO Park. They posed before Van Roekel threw out the first pitch in front of a sold-out crowd for a game between, the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers on the evening of July 3. The park celebrated NEA's "Night at the Ballpark" event that was attended by more than 7,000 NEA delegates.

Mullen (third from right) poses with NEA President Dennis Van Roekel (at left) and other education leaders on the pitching mound at PETCO Park. They posed before Van Roekel threw out the first pitch in front of a sold-out crowd for a game between, the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers on the evening of July 3. The park celebrated NEA’s “Night at the Ballpark” event that was attended by more than 7,000 NEA delegates.

The answer: Yes, of course! The dropout crisis is a chief priority of the NEA. (Learn more about NEA’s efforts to increase graduation rates.)

Mullen became a teacher — joining the faculty of the ARCH School, an alternative education branch of Greenwich High School — so that he could make a real difference in the lives of young adults, he said. And that’s exactly what he does, said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Tony proves that with passion, perseverance, and professionalism, all of us have the power to make a difference.”

Take, for example, the 16-year-old mother, abandoned by her father, placed in foster care by her mother. “She’s combative, rude and vulgar, the type of person who does not believe the meek will inherit the Earth,” Mullen said. But she’s also a lonely, frightened teenager — and Mullen sees that person and believes in her.

“Every day I’m given a chance to save one child at a time and prevent another dropout,” Mullen told delegates. “These are the riches we are given as teachers and educators.”

Click “read more…” below to see 4th of July photos from the CEA delegation.

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True Celebration of Democracy at NEA RA

Connecticut delegates began the first session of business at the 88th NEA RA in San Diego on July 3 by reviewing the RA Today newspaper published daily for NEA delegates.

Connecticut delegates began the first session of business at the 88th NEA RA in San Diego on July 3 by reviewing the RA Today newspaper published daily for NEA delegates.

Even as the country celebrated its independence today, the real show of democracy was happening during the second day of the 88th Representative Assembly as delegates held elections, embraced the promise of equal treatment to all NEA members, and participated in a rousing protest against education budget cuts.

You could feel the energy rise at the July 4th celebration as the NEA Choir sang “Hope for Tomorrow” and the under-30 delegates were invited to come on stage.

“My state was so happy for me when they called us up,” said Betsy Cragg, an under-30 delegate from Greenwich, Connecticut.  “They all pointed at me and said ‘Go, get up there!'”

Tony Mullen -- the National  Teacher of the Year and a Greenwich educator -- briefly spoke to Connecticut delegates at their morning NEA RA caucus on July 4. He will be recognized by NEA and will address all delegates July 5.

Tony Mullen -- the National Teacher of the Year and a Greenwich educator -- briefly spoke to Connecticut delegates at their morning NEA RA caucus on July 4. He will be recognized by NEA and will address all delegates July 5.

This is Betsy’s first NEA RA, but attending two CEA RAs has helped her get ready. She especially likes meeting every morning with her state to discuss the NBIs, amendments, and resolutions before going to the RA hall. “You feel safer to ask questions with just your state colleagues than you do on the floor,” she explained.

So, what did she think about the July 4th celebration commemorating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth?

“I liked it because it was a chance to have fun on the floor. We work hard at the RA and teachers have another side of us-beyond the business.”

Click “read more…” below for more photos from the CEA delegation.

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NEA President Welcomes Delegates

President Dennis Van Roekel welcomes delegates.

President Dennis Van Roekel welcomes delegates.

Highlights from the NEA RA today included speeches by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Van Roekel called for NEA members to lead the nation in transforming public education as he opened the 88th NEA Representative Assembly.

Delegates listen to Van Roekel.

Delegates listen to Van Roekel.

“We have the kind of opportunity that comes along only once in a lifetime,” Van Roekel said. “An opportunity to transform public education and to realize our great audacious vision: a great public school for every student.”

Delegates answered that call – with early votes that position the Association for action on NCLB and health care reform, and at the forefront of efforts in the country’s high-poverty schools.

New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson points to his state's delegation after recieveing the "America's Greatest Education Governor Award."

New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson points to his state's delegation after recieveing the "America's Greatest Education Governor Award."

The NEA RA also honored New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson with its America’s Greatest Education Governor award. Richardson, who raised teacher salaries and increased education funding in his state, as well as provided greater educational opportunities for students through increased pre-K and full-day kindergarten programs, called it “one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received.”

Click “read more…” below for more photos of the CEA delegation at the NEA RA.

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Secretary Duncan Speaks with NEA Members

Education Secretary Arne Duncan address the 2009 NEA Representative Assembly.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan address the 2009 NEA Representative Assembly.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan addressed more than 7,000 educators as part of a town hall exchange today at the NEA RA.

“I know we won’t all agree on everything, but I’m confident there will be more we agree with than not,” Duncan said.  Schools must be the hub of communities, the federal government must increase the number of national certified teachers, and “a union of educators is a positive force that can drive the kind of change that many of our schools need.”

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel noted that he recently visited schools in Connecticut and New York  where he saw what change is possible when there is a strong collaborative relationship among the teachers’ association, the school district and community partners.

“The best way to achieve results is for local unions and other partners to collaborate locally, while thinking globally about what students need to succeed,” Van Roekel said. “I believe that most teachers do an outstanding job, but that shouldn’t stop us from working together to find out what works best.”

NEA members, including Greenwich Education Association member Rae Baczek (2nd row, third from right), greet Secretary Duncan.

NEA members, including Greenwich Education Association member Rae Baczek (2nd row, third from right), greet Secretary Duncan.

CEA Delegates Get Down to Business at NEA RA in San Diego

Nearly 40 new CEA delegates attended an early morning breakfast and orientation session that CEA held on July 1 for first-time delegates. During roundtable discussions delegates receive information to help prepare them for procedures and issues they will deal with at the NEA RA.

Nearly 40 new CEA delegates attended an early morning breakfast and orientation session that CEA held on July 1 for first-time delegates. During roundtable discussions delegates receive information to help prepare them for procedures and issues they will deal with at the NEA RA.

CEA delegates have joined their colleagues from around the country in San Diego for the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly (NEA RA).  More details about the NEA RA are in this previous post.  New delegates participated in an orientation today and the Connecticut delegation held their first California caucus.

We’ll be providing updates on CEA members’ participation in this year’s NEA RA here at BlogCEA.  You can find updates from NEA here.

Click “more” below to see more photos of CEA members arriving in San Diego and starting business.

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CEA Delegates Meet Before Travel to San Diego

San Diego Convention Center. Photo by Bill Gracey, Flickr Creative Commons.

San Diego Convention Center. Photo by Bill Gracey, Flickr Creative Commons.

172 CEA members will soon be joining their colleagues from around the country in San Diego for the National Education Association Representative Assembly.  The NEA RA is the highest decision-making body within the over 3.2 million-member NEA.  With over 9,000 delegates, the RA is also the world’s largest democratic deliberative body.

A different city is chosen to host the NEA RA every year, and this year it will be held in San Diego July 1 – 6.  NEA RA delegates debate the vital issues that impact U.S. public education and set Association policy and activities for the year ahead.

Earlier this year, CEA members elected their peers to represent their concerns as delegates to the NEA RA.   Delegates represent state and local affiliates, student members, retired members, and other segments of the NEA membership.

2009 CEA delegates had their first chance to meet each other this past Monday at the All Delegates Meeting, held at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.  This meeting is held at the beginning of June every year.

In addition to providing delegates with an opportunity to meet one another before the trip to California, the meeting also allows for important discussion on the issues that will come before delegates at the NEA RA.  A brief orientation precedes the meeting to better prepare new delegates for their first NEA RA.