Friday, January 20, 2006

Is NEA's Reg Weaver In Denial Or Something Else?

Scott Elliott, of Get on the Bus, had a recent interview with Reg Weaver, the never-elected-by-the-rank-and-file President of the National Education Association. Several topics were discussed, but here's what Weaver had to say about the internet:
And I asked Weaver if the NEA had thought about starting up a blog on its website where it might start policy discussions and allow its members and others to post their comments. I asked him this because a lot of education bloggers are big fans of Edwize — a smart blog recently begun by the UFT, the local union that represents New York’s teachers. I’ve seen more than one edblogger wonder why the NEA hasn’t done the same.

It was clear from Weaver’s reaction and my struggle to explain that he had no idea what a blog was and had never heard of Edwize. He finally just told me that the NEA had an excellent website and I should check it out.
I find this interesting, even fascinating, as I've emailed NEA's press office (as well as the "contact address" on the NEA's website) copies of our posts that urged NEA to sponsor a comments-enabled weblog similar to Edwize, which encourages the expression of both concurring and dissenting opinions in the commenting threads. (Full disclosure: We strongly support Edwize's efforts.) We even suggested a name for the NEA blog that we thought would be both appropriate and stylish: NEA Voices.

I couldn't email Reg Weaver directly as he has no published email address or other method of direct contact. Come to think of it, none of the other folks who work in the NEA's executive suit has an email address either.

In spite of the fact that I've paid dues to the NEA for over 14 years, (Whether I wanted to or not.) they didn't even bother to give a form-letter reply to our conerns or suggestions. But then again, if they really cared what their rank-and-file membership thought about education-related issues, they would sponsor a comments-enabled blog for the free-exchange of thoughts and ideas among their membership.

As for that website that Reg Weaver is so proud of, instead of polling their membership about anything substantive, dues-payers get "treated" to
this type of stupidity. With all of the controversies and hot topics in education today, I find it inexcusable that NEA cannot find it within itself the willingness to allow its rank-and-file membership to give its opinion on anything that has some relevance to public education policy, working conditions, or teacher compensation.

And yes, we'll email copies of this post to NEA's Senior Press Officer Staci Maiers. (email
right here) and their "contact us" address. We'll even post any reply from Weaver in its entirety. Think that we'll get any sort of answer?
See our latest posts right here.