June 23, 2010

A Pre-RA Note from the Chair

See you in New Orleans at the RA Convention Center. Our caucus room and times are noted below. Please join us whenever you can. We want to meet and greet on July 1 if you are in town. July 2 is optional if you can't get there July 1 and July 3-6 are RA Assembly days.

June 22, 2010

Join the Coalition Against War Spending!

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans over $1 trillion in direct costs, and over $3 trillion altogether.

At a time when our national debt exceeds $13 trillion, we can no longer afford these wars.

It's time for Congress to reject any funding except to bring all our troops safely home.


Time for Teachers' Unions to GET LOUD!

I am a proud member of the teachers' union, the NEA and my state and local divisions of the union. I joined the very day I signed my contract and I am not afraid to tell everyone I am in the teachers' UNION. I don't cop out and call it the "professional organization" or some other cowardly term that tries to hide the fact that I am in a labor union. This post is my way of ranting a little on where I see my union now and in the troublesome future for public education. It is a call for my union leaders to ACT LIKE UNION LEADERS and not to play it safe to try and cultivate their influence gardens in the fancy back rooms of Washington D.C. No, the time is now for teachers in our union to get down and dirty, fight in the streets so to speak because we are truly and honestly fighting for the very heart and soul of American public education!

We are at a point now where the power grab by corporate interests has never been greater in the realm of public education. Testing corporations already greedily feed at the trough, force feeding us their "assessments" and soon they hope to up the ante by seeing that those tests influence what we as teachers get paid. Other fly-by-night for profit groups are eyeing with lust the chance to open up more charter schools to scrape up profits at the expense of the taxpayer and our students. So-called education "reformers" wait at the doors to let the wolves in and cut back on our benefits we fought hard to gain and maintain. Pensions, health insurance, and tenure are all squarely lined up in the firing range and the worst part of it is that the people with the guns are our supposed "friends" in the Democratic Party including the President of the United States we helped elect!

So with these forces aligning against us, now is not the time to be afraid of "rocking the boat" and making waves that get our so called "friends" sopping wet. NO! Now is the time to get mad and give them hell before they allow our public schools to be wrecked and picked apart by corporate greed fiends!

While they are more than happy to scapegoat us and blame us for all that is bad in schools we need to fight back with the facts.

FACT: Performance pay where teachers are paid in part based on the test scores of their students has not been shown to improve student performance.

FACT: Charter schools have not been shown to improve student performance.

FACT: Bad teachers are not protected by unions. Lazy administrators who do not do their job as evaluators are responsible for bad teachers continuing to practice. Unions merely make sure due process rights are followed when a teacher is evaluated. If an administrator was aware of what was going on in the classrooms they could easily and fairly gather enough evidence to let a bad teacher go.

FACT: Pensions and good health benefits are something unions have fought hard for and they in part make up for our lower pay. By the way, if more private sector employees were willing and able to unionize they too would have better benefits and pensions. They need to emulate us not scapegoat us!

These and other facts are pretty easy to prove in a public debate. The real problem is that our union leadership seems to timid to make these arguments LOUDLY and FORCEFULLY. We are so proud of our "seat at the table" but our leaders fail to reveal that the seat we have is at the "kiddie table". We are frequently ignored by the media and our leaders are not heard. Instead our leaders play the old game of Washington D.C. insider glad handing that gets us nothing but a knife in our backs. We need leaders that speak the truth even if it hurts our so-called "friends". We need teachers at public forums, teachers speaking loudly in the media, teachers educating our public about why we are not the scapegoats, we are the last line of defense between their kids and a corporate takeover of education! Get up and get loud NOW!!!!

June 3, 2010

P & J Leadership Responsibilities



1. Preside at all meetings of the NEA P&J, the Board of Directors, and the annual Delegate Caucus;
2. Appoint the chairperson and members of all standing and special committees, except as otherwise provided in the bylaws, with the approval of the Board of Directors;
3. Make recommendations to the Board of Directors for interim appointments;
4. Be the spokesperson and official representative for the caucus;
5. Perform all duties usually prescribed for this office and those designated by the Board of Directors;
6. Make appointments to vacated board positions with the approval of the board at the next meeting of the Board of Directors;
7. Shall have organizational and strategic oversight; and
8. With the treasurer, shall approve and make expenditures within the purviews of the annual budget.

1. Assume all duties and responsibilities of the chairperson upon absent resignation, or inability of the chairperson to perform such duties;
2. Assist regional directors in the fulfillment of their roles, and
3. Serve as vice chair on the Board of Directors.

1. Record and keep a record of the proceedings of the meetings of the caucus and Board of Directors;
2. Report such proceedings and reports as stipulated by the caucus or the Board of Directors;
3. Establish and maintain a record of the officers and committee members;
4. Serve as Secretary on the Board of Directors, and
5. Secure and maintain an updated copy of the constitution, bylaws, and standing rules of the NEA P&J Caucus.

1. Receive, record, and disburse all monies of the caucus;
2. Maintain the financial account of the organization;
3. Make a financial report to each meeting of the Board of Directors, the Delegate Caucus, and such other financial reports as required;
4. Disburse checks and make expenditures within the purviews and spending limits of the annual budget.
5. Recommend the budget to the Board of Directors;
6. Have fundraising oversight, and
7. Serve as treasurer to the Board of Directors.


1. Coordinate activities within his/her region.
2. Conduct an annual meeting at the NEA Regional Conference.
3. Serve on the NEA P&J Caucus Board of Directors.
4. Serve as liaison between the region and the NEA P&J Caucus.
5. Recruit/coordinate memberships in designated regions.
6. Collect, record, and return membership forms collected (white copies only) to membership co-chairs.
7. Send money collected to treasurer – checks only.
8. Disseminate information/materials.
9. Maintain a regional master list.
10. Communicate with membership co-chairs.



1. Design, organize, and coordinate membership recruitment.
2. Establish and maintain membership lists.
3. Communicate with regional directors and caucus chair.

1. Design and coordinate the floor strategy for the NEA Representative Assembly.
2. Recruit speakers and mike yielders.

1. Edit the newsletter.
2. Solicit and write articles.
3. Coordinate the printing and mailing of newsletter to members at least three times a year.

1. Coordinate the exhibition and non-profit booth spaces.
2. Purchase and supply materials.
3. Coordinate the volunteers for staffing the booth.


• Disseminate information/materials.
• Collect/Return membership forms and envelopes to regional directors at RA.
• Recruit members.
• Communicate with regional director.

• Recruit.
• Participate.
• Communicate with caucus.


Regional Directors:
1. Collect large envelopes from membership co-chairs.
2. Disseminate small envelopes to state contacts.
3. Record information.
4. Save yellow copies for records while white copies go to membership co-chairs.
5. Turn in daily collections to membership co-chairs and/or treasurer.

State Contacts:

1. Turn in daily envelopes to regional directors.
2. Inform directors of any concerns, etc.

Booth Coordinators:
1. Collect membership forms/record method of payment.
2. Place in the regional envelopes.
3. Turn in to co-chairs and/or treasurer.


1. Ask the NEA copy room to make several copies (10-20+) of this document (2 sides, 1 sheet) and collect names for each microphone. (If there aren't 40, deletions or additions can be made either electronically or with white out or pen/pencil before you make this first set.)
2. After each mike has a yielder, make enough copies of that one for each issue for which we'll be doing floor strategy.
3. Circle the appropriate category and fill in its number and the names of the maker, seconder, and additional speakers.
4. Make about 50+ copies of each of these to distribute to each mike yielder, the speakers, and others helping with floor strategy.