Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Three Big Issues in Chicago

This is an important summer. Three important decisions will be made by delegates to the 2011 NEA Representative Assembly in Chicago. The first is whether to make an early endorsement of Barack Obama for re-election as President of the United States. The second is approval of a policy to explain where we stand on educator evaluation. The third would implement a special dues assessment of ten dollars toward the NEA Crisis Fund. As always, NEA-Alaska delegates will discuss and decide how we feel about each issue. Each delegate will have an opportunity to listen and participate in the debate in our caucus meetings and on the floor of the Convention Center. While we often take a caucus position, delegates are free to choose for themselves and vote accordingly. Similar to our own Delegate Assembly setting direction for NEA-Alaska, the NEA Representative Assembly establishes the direction for NEA for the coming year. This year will be exciting and important. I look forward to working with our delegates again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


My daughter graduated from college on Sunday. It was a fantastic weekend of family, friends and LOTS of tradition! Throughout the entire experience I kept thinking about how important history is to our society.

I sat between my Dad and my husband for the ceremony. It was wonderful to hear my Dad talk of his own graduation from college, 63 years ago! His college experience had been interrupted by his service in the Army during World War II.

We remembered the weekend of my graduation also, and how much fun we had at a huge picnic put on by me and my friends for all our guests at a nearby park.

The traditions of my daughter's University are far older and more rich than those of the colleges I attended. The importance of assuring religious freedom for those who founded her school spoke to me and reminded me that the causes we fight for, even today, are so important to each individual. Tears fell and my pride in my child's accomplishment was overwhelming. The president of the University spoke of the education students received being crucial because of the emphasis in learning to think critically and question. That's really what we can learn from history. We can learn to look carefully and ask why and how so we move foward with better clarity.