Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Annual NEA Convention: Fun And Frolic In LA

Mike Antonucci, of the Education Intelligence Agency, continues his on-the-spot gavel-to-gavel coverage of this year's convention of the National Education Association. Here is my favorite excerpt of Tuesday's activities by the conventioneers: (emphasis mine)
The Power of Free Market Competition? Delegates held a lengthy debate over the relative merits of NBI [New Business Item- Ed] 51, which EIA highlighted yesterday. It would have established an NEA media research center to monitor and correct misinformation about public education. NEA placed a price tag of $4.7 million on this item and last night EIA offered to do it for $1 million.

In what can only be termed an amazing coincidence, NEA without explanation lowered the price tag today to $1.6 million. The item's language was amended so that NEA could use existing publications and web resources, and that brought the cost down to $300,000. The debate continued, and a first-time delegate from Wisconsin amended it to add a provision to create an NEA blog. EIA was PRAYING this would pass. Unfortunately, another delegate probably had the same mental picture of what would happen that I had, and amended the amendment to make it a moderated blog, so that NEA could remove whatever it didn't deem suitable.

That bummed me out, but it also raised the cost another $100,000, which I didn't know was the going rate for a full-time censor. In the end, it was all for nothing. The delegates voted down the whole idea overwhelmingly.

Wouldn't reading an NEA-sponsored blog be a lot of fun? We think that it would be such a gas! Could you just imagine what folks would have to say in the commenting threads? Who on earth would they find to write it? (On the other hand, for a salary of $100,000, I can think of a certain someone; after all, shilling for the NEA would be much easier [and pay more] than junior high teaching.)

Or would the NEA's blog be like those sites belonging to certain bombthrowers who evade all accountability for their rhetorical bombs and Ad hominem attacks by not allowing their readers to comment?

Alas, an NEA blog isn't in the immediate future. Still... one can hope.

Related: EducatioNation,, Jenny D, Joanne Jacobs, and our last convention-related post.
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