- Peel back the veil of the NCAE and NEA and you will see a radical leftist agenda at work
- A look at the NEA’s adopted motions from its 2019 national assembly reveals just how politicized they’ve become
- Incredibly, a motion to make student learning the NEA’s top priority was defeated
The May 1 teacher rally in Raleigh attracted thousands of educators for a political show of force downtown. The event, coordinated by the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and Red4EdNC, garnered significant press coverage.
Conspicuously missing from the media coverage, however, were three relevant facts: 1) NCAE is the state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the nation, 2) Red4Ed NC is part of the national Red4Ed group – which is an activist arm of the NEA and not an organic response to calls for educational changes , and 3) Red4Ed and NCAE are tools the NEA uses to accomplish its larger radical political and social goals.
NCAE likes to position itself as a defender of students and committed to improving public education. Earlier this year, NCAE listed its goals for the May1 rally, its largest event of the year:
- Provide $15 minimum wage for all school personnel, 5% raise for all ESPs (non-certified staff), teachers, admin, and a 5% cost of living adjustment for retirees
- Provide enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national standards
- Expand Medicaid to improve the health of our students and families
- Reinstate state retiree health benefits eliminated by the General Assembly in 2017
- Restore advanced degree compensation stripped by the General Assembly in 2013
Noticeably absent are any goals regarding improving student outcomes. That’s because that wasn’t the goal of the rally. It doesn’t even appear to be an afterthought.
Instead, the May 1 rally was an organizing rally to bring others into the membership and politics of the NEA and NCAE. Check the NCAE website or Facebook page and learn about the 2020 NCAE racial and social justice caucus. Those who still have doubts about the radicalization of the NEA and NCAE should peruse previous articles I’ve written on the subject (see here, here and here).
How radical is the NEA? You can get a sense by simply reviewing some of the actions taken at NEA’s 2019 Representative Assembly in Houston. The text of some new business items included the following:
Teach White Fragility
…. Using existing resources, NEA will incorporate the concept of “White Fragility” into NEA trainings/staff development, literature, and other existing communications on social, gender, LGBTQIA [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and, Asexual] and racial justice whenever and wherever context and expense allows.
Item: New Business Item 11 – Action: Adopted
Promote Black Lives Matter
…NEA will promote the Black Lives Matter Week of Action in schools during Black History Month in 2020. Beginning in the fall of 2019, using existing communications resources, NEA will specifically call for clear efforts to demonstrate support for the four demands of the BLM Week of Action in schools:
- Ending zero-tolerance policies and replacing them with restorative justice practices
- Hiring and mentoring black educators
- Mandating that Ethnic Studies be taught in preK-12 schools in age-appropriate ways
- Hiring more counselors not cops
New Business Item 19 Action – Adopted
Teach Climate Change and provide online and union-friendly resources
The NEA will contact all school districts through the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to recommend incorporating into their science curriculum, causes, effects, and solutions to climate change and pollution. The NEA will inform each school district of NEA’s position supporting teaching current and established researched-based data from reputable science resources and include human’s involvement in climate change and the possible solutions. The NEA will provide online resources for teachers to plan and implement lessons, including any existing union-friendly teaching resources.
New Business Item 29 Action: Adopted as Modified
End Criminalization of Border Crossings
The NEA will publicize our vigorous defense of immigrants’ rights: defending the right to asylum, ending the criminalization of border crossings, opposing child separation, the construction of a border wall, and immediately shutting down immigrant concentration camps.
New Business Item 37; Action – Completed, details to come
Report on the Negative Effects of Charter Schools
NEA will develop a report on the negative effects of charter co-locations on students, particularly students of color, students with disabilities, and public-school communities, and publish such reports in the NEA Today, on NEA social media, and all other forms of communications.
New Business Item 38; Action – Adopted
Expand Number of Professional Opportunities for GSA advisors
…NEA will work with current partners (such as GLSEN), to expand on the number of professional development opportunities for Gender Sexuality Alliances (GSA) advisors. This training should include, at a minimum:
- Starting a new GSA;
- How to handle possible backlash from different stakeholders; and
- Model GSA projects and activities.
New Business Item 47; Action – Adopted
Lobby for LGBTQ Curricula
NEA will create model legislative language that state affiliates can use to lobby for a K-12 cross content curriculum that is LGBTQ+ inclusive.
New Business Item 48; Action-Adopted
Lobby for Equality Act and other protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity
The National Education Association (NEA) will organize and mobilize in support of the Equality Act to be a top legislative priority by using existing resources to channel activist energy toward education and advocacy, encourage all members to sign up to the NEA EdJustice newsletter to receive action alerts and invitations to be the best advocate possible, and continue persistent and ongoing lobby efforts with our Senate to increase their awareness of the importance of passing non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
New Business Item 55; Action – Adopted
Fundamental Right to Abortion
Through existing media channels, the NEA will honor the leadership of women, non-binary, and trans people, and other survivors who have come forward to publicly name their rapists and attackers in the growing, international, #MeToo movement.
Furthermore, the NEA will include an assertion of our defense of a person’s right to control their own body, especially for women, youth, and sexually marginalized people. The NEA vigorously opposes all attacks on the right to choose and stands on the fundamental right to abortion under Roe v. Wade.
New Business Item 56; Action – Adopted as amended
At the beginning of ALL NEA convenings, NEA will acknowledge the native people of whom the lands originated from
New Business Item 64; Action – Adopted as Modified
End White Supremacy “English Only” Culture
NEA will use existing channels to call on educators to refrain from discouraging or explicitly telling students to not speak a language other than English at school. NEA may also include information about:
- The benefits of being multi-lingual;
- How linguistic oppression is traumatic to children and stifles their academic achievement;
- The white supremacy culture associated with “English only” movements; and
- The history of violence inflicted on children for speaking a language other than English at school.
New Business Item 93 – Adopted
US Government Must Accept Responsibility for Creating Immigration Crisis
The NEA will call on the U.S. government to accept responsibility for the destabilization of Central American countries (including, but not limited to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua), and that this destabilization is a root cause of the recent increase of asylum seekers in the United States.
New Business Item 118 – Adopted as modified
While certainly much can be learned about NEA and the direction of NCAE by which new business items were adopted, it’s also telling to note what items were defeated. Two items are especially telling.
Ignores voice of members when making Presidential Endorsement
NEA will delay deciding on a preferred primary presidential candidate until members have had time to become educated through watching candidate debates and visiting the Strong Public Schools’ website.
NEA will incorporate member voice in determining which candidate to support. . .The members’ preferred candidate and the general means of how the candidate was determined (e.g. scientific poll, web site, questions, etc.) will be shared with membership through existing channels.
New Business Item 54; Action -Defeated
Politics – Not Student Learning – is NEA and NCAE’s top priority
The National Education Association will re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education. NEA will make student learning the priority of the Association. NEA will not waiver in its commitment to student learning by adopting the following lens through which we will assess every NEA program and initiative: How does the proposed action promote the development of students as lifelong reflective learners?
New Business Item 2; Action – Defeated
You read that right. A motion to make student learning the top priority of the nation’s largest teacher union was defeated.
So, what does it mean?
These findings shouldn’t be so surprising when you consider the unions exist to serve members and partisan politics; not improve the schools. With 2.9 million members, NEA is the largest teacher’s union in the nation as well as the largest labor union in the country. NEA’s state affiliate, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), is the largest teacher’s union in the state, although like membership elsewhere, NCAE membership has also been in decline in recent years.
Teacher unions have also been major political players. The National Institute on Money in State Politics reports that NEA spent $53.5 million on the 2016 election cycle. NEA & AFT made $4.4 million in contributions to North Carolina candidates (85 percent of whom are Democrat) and over $1 million to party committees; including a $350,000 contribution from NEA to the North Carolina Democratic Party to support Roy Cooper’s run for governor.
InfluenceWatch.org reports that between 1990 and February of 2019, NEA committed $143.5 million to federal candidates and committees, 97 percent of which were Democrats and liberals. NEA buys the support of politicians who support big government and most all of them are leftists. The NEA and NCAE both have a history of supporting big government initiatives and politicians whether it helps children in the classroom. But that’s all background for the ideologues and many in the media.
It’s difficult to argue with the evidence. NEA’s main goal is not improving education for students but adding to its own wealth and power and advancing a radical agenda. Next time you hear about NEA or the next NCAE teacher rally, it’s a message you’d do well to remember.