Independence Day: July 4, 2011
The Ohio caucus met bright and early this morning at 7:00. We’ve been meeting in Chicago for three days now, but yesterday’s abbreviated meeting left the caucus somewhat behind in its work, but today represented a chance to get back into the rhythm of caucus work.
The caucus heard today from four groups.
- Yesterday’s vote at the RA left one position unsettled and requiring a runoff vote. The ESP Steering Committee recommended that the caucus endorse Leslie A. Dake for the remaining position. (In voting later in the day, delegates elected Leslie to that position.)
- The caucus’s Legislative Committee recommended positions on various amendments that have been submitted to NEA’s Legislative Program. Delegates on the RA floor later acted on many of those amendments.
- The Steering Committee had two sets of recommendations.
- A number of amendments have been proposed to the proposed new Policy Statement ion Teacher Evaluation and Accountability. The Steering Committee proposed positions on those amendments: most received the support of the caucus, while the caucus elected to oppose Amendments 5 and 10 and to take no position on Amendment 4.
- The Steering Committee recommended positions on New Business Items 34-49. Delegates at the caucus rejected a recommendation to oppose NBI 42, which would direct NEA to develop an “Arts Advocacy Campaign and Toolkit,” and decided again to support it.
- Ohio’s members of the NEA Resolutions Committee reviewed recent changes to Resolutions. With their guidance, the caucus took positions on a number of amendments that have been submitted.
Delegates at the caucus considered a motion to rescind their position supporting the endorsement of Barack Obama for reelection as President. They voted not to rescind, once more going on record as supporting President Obama for reelection.
At the RA, delegates approved the proposed Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability. (The policy statement can be found at http://www.nea.org/grants/amendments-existing-policy-statements.html).
What has been widely assumed to be the biggest issue of this RA was settled today. In a written secret ballot, delegates voted to endorse President Barack Obama. The endorsement needed a 2/3 vote, and received 72% of the votes. NEA supports Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.
Delegates pressed ahead with consideration of New Business Items. The last one of the day, NBI 63, proved to be a tough one to finish out. The NBI called for NEA to publish information about “reconstitutions, co-locations, closures and various other tactics used to change school composition and populations that negatively affect and impact students served,” and it took up a considerable amount of time before finally being rejected by the delegates.
The RA usually ends its day with a drawing among those who have contributed to the Fund for Children and Public Education. Today’s $10,000 winner was retiring Ohio delegate and OEA Director-at-large Deloris Rome Hudson, and NEOEA delegates joined with the rest of the RA in congratulating Deloris on her good fortune.