Thousands of union members will gather in Philadelphia next week to codify and celebrate the nation’s largest teachers union’s political agenda. Delegates attending the annual Representative Assembly will “debate the vital issues that impact American public education and set National Education Association policy and activities for the year ahead.”  

Union leaders will also campaign for union-endorsed candidates and craft social justice initiatives. Will the National Education Association’s (NEA) business items, resolutions, and events address the nation’s student achievement, learning loss, and chronic absenteeism crisis? No, they will not.

The teachers union doesn’t want the public to know too much about their plans, so they hide the business items and financial documents behind a password-protected firewall and limit press coverage. The NEA only allowed one union-friendly outlet to cover the 2022 and 2023 gatherings.

The NEA shut down public access to the Representative Assembly after a 2019 business item vote made the union’s dedication to activism rather than academics crystal clear. At the 2019 gathering, union delegates voted against a motion to dedicate the nation’s largest teachers union to increasing student learning. The failed resolution stated:

“The National Education Association will re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education. NEA will make student learning the priority of the association. NEA will not waiver in its commitment to student learning by adopting the following lens through which we will assess every NEA program and initiative: How does the proposed action promote the development of students as lifelong reflective learners.”

So, what is the NEA dedicated to pursuing? At last year’s event, NEA President Becky Pringle declared “It is part of my master plan to make every public school a community school!” Perhaps the NEA’s “master plan” should be to make every public school a center of academic excellence.

To learn more about the NEA’s priorities as revealed in the union’s annual Representative Assembly, read “National Education Association Annual Meeting Neglects Vital Education Issues,” “Business Items And Quotes Demonstrate Teachers Union’s Real Agenda,” “The National Education Association’s Radical Agenda,” and “Nation’s Largest Teachers’ Union Invests Half A Million To Train Educators In Gender Ideology.”

For more information about teachers unions, check out the IWF Education Freedom Center’s Teachers Union Resource Center.