Representing our members: CEA delegates at the NEA RA July 2, 2010

CEA-R member Marilyn Allen (second from left) and other NEA RA delegates from Ohio pose with a wax likeness of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo: Robert Hern, Jr.

More than 30 delegates representing the Columbus Education Association participated in the second Ohio Caucus for the 2010 NEA Representative Assembly (RA), held in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the caucus, delegates received reports from Ohio Education Association officers and staff.  Delegates also listened to a number of speeches from candidates seeking a variety of elected positions within the National Education Association.

Following the caucus, delegates registered at the Morial Convention Center. While the RA does not officially start until Saturday, July 3, many delegates chose to browse the dozens of vendors at the exhibition hall. Vendors provided many free resources to the teachers, including pens, tote bags, school supplies and other items.

Association leaders attend NEA Teacher Quality Policy Briefing

Columbus Education Association President Rhonda Johnson, Vice President Sally Oldham and several members of the CEA Board of Governors attended the Annual Teacher Quality Policy Briefing held on July 2, 2010. The briefing was sponsored by the NEA Teacher Quality Department (TQ). TQ promotes policies and practices to help teachers achieve high standards of practice and maintain high standards throughout their education.

The TQ Policy Briefing was attended by hundreds of NEA delegates. Many were National Board Certified Teachers. The briefing’s theme was “Trends in Teacher Quality: Are We Heading in the Wrong Direction?”

NEA Executive Director John Wilson and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel both welcomed the large crowd of delegates. Wilson spoke about the Priority Schools throughout the country that he had visited recently and how it pertained to teacher quality.

“At these schools, I always saw a good leader,” said Wilson. “At some of the schools it was a principal, some of the schools were was teacher-led. What I loved about teacher-led schools were the partnerships and the collaboration.”

 “The good news is that there are a lot of people talking about teacher quality, but a lot don’t know what the heck they’re talking about,” NEA President Van Roekel. “The stakes are very high; without there are decisions that will be made that impact our future as well as the students we teach.”

TQ Director Segun Eubanks gave a brief overview of the teacher policy landscape and introduced the panelists for their discussion.

The panelists represented a wide variety of educational experience, from K-12 classroom teaching to higher education as well as local and national union leaders. They included:

Dr. Mary Hatwood Futrell recently served as the Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University. Dr. Futrell was also a former president of the National Education Association.

Dr. Nancy Zimpher served as dean of the College of Education at Ohio State University, president of the University of Cinncinnati and is currently the Chancellor of the State University of New York. She is the first woman to hold that position.

Mr. Andy Coons is a National Board Certified middle school math teacher from the Tacoma Public School District. He is also the president-elect of the Tacoma Education Association, one of the largest locals in the state of Washington.

The panel engaged in a discussion on teacher quality moderated by Segun Eubanks. Additionally, the audience asked a wide variety of questions of the panelists about the possibilities and obstacles involved in the future of teacher preparation, effectiveness and evaluation. For more on the NEA Teacher Quality Department, click here.