More than 200 politicized teachers participated in the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, N.C., representing their unions, not their students. Since 1980, politicized teachers have been one of the largest groups represented at the DNC, and they represent the far left of the political spectrum.
The National Education Association’s involvement in politics has a long history. Back in 1964, Stephen K. Bailey of Syracuse University wrote in the November NEA Journal:
Education is one of the most thoroughly political enterprises in American life. More public money is spent for education than for any other single function of state and local government.... It is evident that effective political leadership is the keystone to the arch of educational finance.
And in 1966, when Sam Lambert was elected head of the NEA, he told his audience of teachers:
NEA last year had 1,030,000 members; and by the end of this year we will have at least 1,100,000. We are already four times as large as any other professional organization in this country....
NEA will become a political power second to no other special interest group....
And, finally, NEA will organize this profession from top to bottom into logical operating units that can move easily and effectively and with power unmatched by any other organized group.
Today, the NEA is the nation’s largest employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
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Sam Blumenfeld (photo)