It’s hard to see how the Democratic National Convention in August could be any more exciting for Bill Clinton than the annual convention of the National Education Association held over the Fourth of July weekend. The NEA Convention had three times as many delegates as the Democratic Convention will have, and 91 percent of the NEA delegates voted to endorse Clinton for reelection as President. That’s a higher approval rating than he enjoys in the Democratic Party.
NEA convention had all the accouterments of a rip-roaring political convention, including Clinton-Gore buttons, signs and T-shirts and strobe lights criss-crossing the hall. When Clinton entered to make his speech, the crowd cheered and carried on like a political rally, the band blared out rock and roll, and the Arkansas delegates pretended to play huge make-believe saxophones.
The NEA convention passed its usual series of pro-big-spending, anti-parent, pro-feminist, and pro-gay-rights resolutions. Of course, the NEA wants federal funding to be “substantially increased,” and the NEA is adamantly opposed to home schooling unless the parents are licensed and use a curriculum approved by the state department of education.
The NEA is for abolishing “deleterious programs.” That doesn’t mean eliminating explicit sex education curricula or R-rated videos. It means eliminating such “detrimental” programs as “privatization, performance contracting, tax credits for tuition to private and parochial schools, voucher plans, and evaluations by private groups.”
Remember, the NEA is a union, and the prime goal of the union is not education. It is more jobs and more schools that require more tax funding.
To create more jobs, the NEA not only supports “mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance,” but also “early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight.” This would not be simple baby-sitting; it would feature “diversity-based curricula and appropriate bias-free screening devices.”
The NEA swallowed a lot of bad PR and some loss of membership because of last year’s resolution endorsing a Lesbian and Gay History Month, known as Resolution B-9. This year’s convention omitted that one line, but continued to endorse all other gay-lesbian demands, including rewriting curriculum, textbooks, and activities.
The NEA’s answer to the problem of teen pregnancy is not to teach abstinence or self-discipline, but to teach self-esteem, making sure that it is “anti-biased, culturally sensitive.” The NEA also demands that schools set up “on-site child care services.”
The NEA is all for sex education so long as it includes “diversity of sexual orientation, incest, and sexual harassment.” The NEA resolution follows the SIECUS-Planned Parenthood dogma that “it is the right of every individual [i.e., every child, without parental consent] to live in an environment [i.e., the school] of freely available information, knowledge, and wisdom [i.e., as defined by the school] about sexuality.”
The NEA wants every child to have “direct and confidential [i.e., without parental knowledge or consent] access to comprehensive (i.e., K-12) health, social, and psychological programs and services [i.e., contraceptives].” The NEA wants guidance and counseling programs to be “integrated into the entire education system [i.e., so parents can’t opt out their children] beginning at the prekindergarten level.”
The NEA endorses all the trendy liberal fads: multicultural ed, global ed, AIDS ed, environmental ed, bilingual ed, self-esteem ed, suicide ed, school based sex clinics, and continuing to admit illegal aliens into tax-supported public schools. There is no mention of phonics education or teaching children to read.
In recognition of the fact that semi-literate public school graduates must take high school courses all over again in college, the NEA went on record against denying taxpayer funds to college students enrolled in “remedial” courses. An attempt to delete the NEA’s advocacy of abortion from its legislative program was defeated.
Accountability? The NEA “opposes standardized testing” and “the use of these tests to compare one student, staff member, school, or district with another.” The NEA opposes “competency testing” as a condition of employment, evaluation, placement, ranking or promotion.
The NEA’s non-academic resolutions include supporting statehood for the District of Columbia, socialized medicine, and tax-funded “creative [i.e., obscene] expression” by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA opposes making English our official U.S. language or a moment of silence in schools (i.e., because students might pray).
At the 1990 NEA convention in Kansas City, the gay-lesbian group met without publicity and circulated its demands on one mimeographed sheet. By 1996, about a third of the delegates sported NEA-GLC (Gay Lesbian Caucus) buttons, and an eight-page professionally produced newsletter announced eleven caucuses during the convention plus an AIDS quilt display and a cocktail reception and social.
The NEA announced its thousand-dollar subsidies given to each NEA member who is elected a delegate to the Democratic National Convention: a grant of $400 in cash, $400 in merchandise, plus air travel expense. The NEA will have more delegates at the Democratic National Convention than any state.