Each summer the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers hold separate delegate conventions to plan lobbying efforts for the coming year. They listen to speakers, hold panels and the best part, talk to other teachers. The southern states tend to have the same representatives and state presidents year after year while the northern and western states have different teachers occupying the leadership roles.
I was the co-chair of the NEA convention when it came to Seattle in 1964. One of the traditions of the convention is that there was alway some local university or college where teachers could go after the convention to take classes and look to the future. It was their vacation. In 1964 we picked Western Washington State College (now university) to be that place. That was my first introduction to this institution that resides in the far northwest of the State of Washington. About an hour from the great cities of Seattle and Vancouver, BC, it is a beautiful place situated between the snow capped peak of Mount Baker and the enticing San Juan and Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea (look it up). Don't come.
The (Paul) Woodring College of Education (WWU) has the honor of having Dr. Lorraine Kasprisin, professor of education in Foundations. She is a wonderful colleague and a good friend who has her own blog titled: The Journal of Educational Controversy (goto: http://jounalofeducationalcontroversy.blogspot.com/). She left a message on this blog that she had just published Diane Ravitch's speech to this year's NEA convention. I just read it. Professor Ravitch and I have been on opposite sides of the educational forums for years but I have to admit with this speech, we're on the same page.
Both Lorraine Kasprisin and Diane Ravitch are better writers than I am but we all agree that K-12 teachers are a backbone of American society. I hope you will read the more recent blog in The Journal of Educational controversy. It's good.
And thanks to Lorraine for ever pushing me to learn and understand. You're a great teacher.