Notes from Camp: Thursday, July 3

The Representative Assembly is about the size of a small city, so like most cities it has its own newspaper: RA Today. When delegates met for the first of our 7:00 a.m. caucuses this morning, they found today’s RA Today waiting for them. Today’s issue included the first group of NBIs (New Business Items), and the proposal Ohio approved yesterday at the request of delegate Ray Beiersdorfer appeared there as NBI 19.

Ohio’s Steering Committee had spent a jolly morning discussing some sixteen of those NBIs, and delegates took positions to accept or overrule their recommendations.

Having declined an opportunity to endorse a candidate for NEA Secretary-Treasurer at the June caucus, delegates considered an endorsement motion again. For fifteen minutes delegates took turns debating the merits of Greg Johnson and Princess Moss. Once again delegates voted, and once again a motion to endorse failed.

Although the remaining RA sessions will begin at 10:00, the first one begins at 10:30, giving delegates a bit more time to navigate from caucuses to the Convention Center. Ohio is fortunate this year to be housed just a few blocks from the Convention Center, so many of us eschewed the settle buses and walked to the convention.

After NEA President Dennis Van Roekel (henceforth called DVR here) called delegates to order and introduced various people on stage, he delivered his last keynote speech to the RA.

DVR reflected on the 35 NEA Representative Assemblies he has attended as a delegate and officer and on the changes in the educational landscape over those years. He laid out his ideas for an agenda for the future: 1) expand early childhood education to improve school readiness, 2) redirect resources away from testing companies and toward  improved conditions of learning and teaching,  3) create high standards for all learners and 4) take ownership of and responsibility for a quality teacher workforce.

Candidates in the elections to be held tomorrow made their campaign speeches, and after a recess the RA began consideration of New Business Items. The RA passed three NBIs submitted by the Board of Directors (these are lettered) and considered NBIs 1 through 5. (Full information on NBIs is available at nea.org/grants/33354.htm.)

Following that work session, delegates honored the Outstanding America Governor of the Year, Duval Patrick of Massachusetts, who appeared by video due to weather-related concerns in Massachusetts.

The RA actually adjourned prior to the scheduled 6:00 adjournment time!

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July! We’ll wear some patriotic clothes, celebrate Independence Day at the Convention Center, and NEOEA and several other OEA districts will celebrate at the Denver Downtown Aquarium.

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About neoeaxd

Bill Lavezzi serves as Executive Director of the North Eastern Ohio Education Association. NEOEA is a professional association of educators consisting of the nearly 31,000 members of the 192 local OEA and NEA affiliates in northeastern Ohio. Founded in 1869 as the North Eastern Ohio Teachers Association, NEOEA took its present name in 1989 in recognition of the diversity of its members.
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