No early impacts on the NEA

Last month I gave an inspired presentation to the Board of Directors for the National Education Association (NEA), our nation’s largest teachers union. As you can see from the NEA’s latest poll of its members, apparently I didn’t have much impact on its thinking, at least at this early stage. There is absolutely no recognition in the survey of the dramatic technological and information-related changes that we’re experiencing. [sigh]

NEATodayAction

7 Responses to “No early impacts on the NEA”

  1. As with most Boards of Directors, the NEA Board is made of individuals with their own disparate interests. Too, each NEA Board member is a teacher/educator/support staff person working in some school system/university somewhere. They don’t have much time to get the word out across their states even if they did take what you said to heart.

    It’s the NEA management that needs to be convinced so they will take the lead in beginning to address the real issues raised by educational technology. It will take more than one session to break though and then it may be too late to bring the ship around.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Nancy. I do understand that wholesale change doesn’t begin to occur because of one presentation, no matter how awesome it was (wink). Of course the NEA management likely won’t do anything without significant pressure from the Board and other members. You need an internal groundswell, just like we need in local communities for their school boards and in state citizenries for their lawmakers.

  3. Maybe DI readers should give them a screen full of core thoughts from Scott’s presentation. Perhaps a reminder of what they just heard will refresh their memories and remind them why the NEA is fast becoming “Dangerously Irrelevant.”

    Here is their poll:
    http://www.neatodayaction.org/take-our-poll/

  4. I do not mean this in any way to underscore the message you presented Scott, but I can understand how the NEA may perceive other issues to be of more urgent importance to their membership.

    For what it is worth, the more a message is heard, the more likely that message may get internalized and at some point generate more discussion.

    I not surprised that it did not generate further conversation yet, but I would certainly not consider it to be “all for naught”.

    I have really never thought that technology alone was going to cause the type of underlying structural changes in schools that many have talked about. However, I do think the next 12 to 36 months are going to really cause the decision-making authorities (boards, supes, the political machine) to make some very tough choices. It is possible that technology thrown into the larger context of severe budget deficits might accelerate thinking to a point where people say the current model is broken and can no longer be afforded.

    While it is not a situation any of us would hope for, I do think the budgetary shortfall has people scrambling for new ideas – and most involve the use of technology to try and do something different.

    I know Iowa may not look like the rest of the nation in terms of school funding (perhaps it is), but keep your eyes on states around you and watch what happens.

    Minnesota schools have had to borrow significant amounts to make up for budget shortfalls (it seems almost like no big deal – it will have huge ramifications). Wisconsin taxpayers saw double digit raises in levy amounts (and some communities caught fire, some did not – but next year, I’ll bet more communities will be aware of what an annual budget meeting is). The next few years look worse with no real budgetary light at the end of a tunnel.

    The will to change has to be greater than the resistance… seems like we might see some additional will on the part of leaders to break out of the mold – not necessarily for the right reasons (sadly).

  5. no surprise with NEA not mentioning the changes coming their way with technology. They will get on board when its too late.

  6. Did you notice, that even though the NEA survey did not pose the question, that 20% of the responses were “other?”
    That is a lot of “other!” Maybe the members HAVE responded to your message.

  7. I personally would love to know what the breakdown would be on “other”

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