Red4EdNC has been in the news a lot in the last few months. The teacher organizing group is working diligently to cultivate a perception of a home-grown organization working hard to protect the public schools and your kids. What Red4EdNC hasn’t told you is that Red4EdNC is part of a national campaign Red4ED that is coordinated by the National Education Association (NEA), the parent organization of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). NEA says Red4Ed is a way to mobilize teachers and encourage political activity to “advocate for better pay, benefits and working conditions.”
So what goals are Red4EdNC and NEA working toward? Let’s just say it’s a lot more than teacher pay and benefits.
A sampling of adopted resolutions at the recent 2018 NEA General Assembly gives us a taste:
Adopted: NEA shall, using existing digital media, encourage state and local affiliates to make available a practice brief to families, caretakers, advocates, and providers that provides new research from the Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at San Francisco State University in support of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning+ (LGBTQ+) children.
Adopted: NEA will promote the Black Lives Matter Week of Action in schools during Black History month in 2019, using existing communication resources, specifically calling for clear efforts to demonstrate support for the three 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.
Adopted: Given NEA’s policy of fighting racism, and the current state of racial affairs within this great nation, it is imperative that NEA actively support and promote, using existing resources, such as Teaching Tolerance, Facing History and Ourselves, and Rethinking Schools, that describe and deconstruct the systemic proliferation of a White supremacy culture and its constituent elements of White privilege and institutional racism, in order to create equitable outcomes for people of all colors, languages, and ethnic backgrounds. Additionally, the NEA will encourage its affiliates to do the same.
Adopted: NEA endorses (in name only) the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, will investigate developing a partnership with the Campaign, and will publicize, through existing digital publications, our endorsement and campaign actions.
Adopted: Using existing digital media, NEA will encourage state and local associations to join coalitions prohibiting the privatization of jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers. NEA will urge state and local associations to report their efforts to NEA, local associations, and state leadership.
Adopted: NEA will support a strategy of postponing confirmation of a Supreme Court justice until after the mid-term election, holding Congress to the same standards set forth by the Senate after the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016.
Adopted: NEA will identify and share with affiliates principles and/or regulations that remove barriers like the PRAXIS and other standardized tests that prohibit educators from entering the profession. NEA will also write model legislation and/or regulations that can be used by states and affiliates. NEA will promote through existing outlets the issues of abolishing standardized testing as a primary qualifier of teacher certification.
You get the picture.
Of course, Red4EdNC members have every right to organize. And others have every right to point out how 1) Red4EdNC further political not educational goals and 2) that the interests of Red4EdNC don’t coincide with the best interests of schools and or students.
Next time you hear Red4EdNC, don’t think of that lowly overworked teacher. Think National Educational Association and radical teacher’s union. There’s a reason why the name is hidden.