Monday, July 6, 2009

Hope -and action- start here!

Delegates headed home from the Representative Assembly to a nation that is led, for the first time in nearly a decade, by an education-friendly White House and Congress. Hopes for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) run high.

The last day of the 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.

RA Today/Calvin Knight

The emotional highlight of the day, and one of the most anticipated events of the 2009 RA, was the tribute to General Counsel Bob Chanin.

Following a video retrospective and remarks from President Van Roekel and representatives from the California Teachers Association, the Alabama Education Association and the Buffalo Teachers Federation, Chanin spoke (for the first time) from the center podium.

In addition to reflecting on his 40 years and thanking his many colleagues past and present, Chanin left delegates with an important message in these challenging times as they prepare to depart from the 2009 RA.

Marsha Fabian recieves a kiss from her husband Brian Griffith on the Ra floor the two were engaged at last years RA in Washington DC. and Married this year at the NEA 147th Annual Meeting, 88th Representative Assembly, San Diego Ca. Sunday, July 5th, 2009. RA Today/Calvin Knight

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?”

Not all the day’s action was inside the hall. Members of the California Teachers Association marched from the San Diego Convention Center to the governor’s San Diego office to deliver the 10,000 postcards collected from educators on the floor of the Representative Assembly on Saturday.

No comments:

Post a Comment