Saturday, January 21, 2006

AFT's NCLBlog: Another Union Blog Done Right

The American Federation of Teachers, which is the Nation's second-largest teachers union, has started a comments-enabled blog to advocate its views on The No Child Left Behind Law. The site is called: AFT NCLBlog and we've added them to our blogroll. From their sidebar:
The NCLB Blog was established by the AFT as a forum where public education advocates, policymakers and others can exchange information and express their opinions on NCLB and related issues. The views expressed here are not the official views of the AFT or any of its affiliates. All claims otherwise would violate the spirit and purpose of the blog.
Similar to Edwize, which is run by the local union that represents New York City's teachers, NCLBlog represents a positive example of what a union-sponsored blog can be. Even though neither Edwize or NCLBlog lose sight of their respective missions, these blogs permit the free exchange of thoughts and ideas among the commenters.

Both members and the general public are free to civilly express both concurring and dissenting opinions. To us, this represents a progressive and forward-thinking measure that can only encourage greater participation and support by the unions' rank-and-file as well as helping foster a public image of openness and toleration of dissent within the organizations.

Now... if only the National Education Association had the foresight to start its own comments-enabled site. If the NEA were truly the democratic organization that it so loudly claims to be, it would not hesitate to follow the example of the AFT and start it's own comments-enabled blog. As in the past, we'll suggest an appropriate and stylish name for the blog: NEA Voices.

It's high time that the NEA take advantage of this highly effective method of disseminating its message and furthering the active participation of its membership through the civil discussion and debate of education-related issues, workplace matters, and union governance.

Sadly, the present leadership of NEA pleads ignorance when it comes to this powerful new medium.

Those of us who financially support (whether we want to or not) the NEA continue waiting for NEA President Reg Weaver to show some visionary leadership and authorize the sponsorship of a comments-enabled weblog so that the discussion can begin.

See this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education right here and our latest posts over there.