Delegates from the Columbus Education Association (CEA) attended the 2010 Summer Meeting of the National Council of Urban Education Associations (NCUEA) in New Orleans from June 26-29. CEA has been a member of the council for many years. Ohio members of NCUEA include CEA, the Dayton Education Association and the South-Western Education Association.

Established in 1961, NCUEA is an advocacy organization of local affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA). NCUEA is dedicated to strengthening member advocacy and making the NEA more responsive to member needs. Its membership is comprised of local education associations that have more than 1,000 members.

The mission of NCUEA is to promote quality teaching and learning in urban public schools, and focuses on a number of vital areas, including: a united voice for urban education, partnership with NEA, partnerships with education-focused organizations, training for urban leaders, human and civil rights for all, celebration of diversity, communication among local association, staff/leadership relationships and the quality of teaching and learning conditions for NCUEA members.

During the course of the 2010 Summer Meeting, delegates received reports from a wide range of NEA staff and officers, including:

Delegates warmly received National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. President Van Roekel greeted the NCUEA body, gave a brief update on NEA and a few insights into his speech to be delivered at the upcoming NEA Representative Assembly.

NEA Senior Policy Analyst Bob Kim delivered an education policy update on the federal Race to the Top and School Improvement Grant programs.

Christy Levings, a member of NEA’s Executive Committee, reported to delegates on the status of the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

NEA General Counsel Alice O’Brien updated delegates regarding the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court to not hear the NEA appeal of School District of the City of Pontiac v. Duncan. The lawsuit was filed more than five years ago by the NEA to challenge the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization of ESEA as an unfunded mandate.

Becky Pringle, NEA Secretary-Treasurer presented NEA’s Strategic Budget and fielded numerous questions from NCUEA members.

NEA Human and Civil Rights Director Sheila Simmons gave an update on NEA’s Priority Schools initiative. There are seven Priority Schools in the Columbus City School district, each of which applied for and recieved a School Improvement Grant from the Ohio Department of Education.

Sean Johnson, Senior Campaign Specialist for NEA’s Campaigns and Elections division reaffirmed the impact that the many federal, state and local candidates for the 2010 general election will have on education policy in the coming years.

NEA Government Relations Director Kim Anderson delivered vital information to delegates regarding the ongoing conversations and involvement that NEA maintains with the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the US Department of Education.

Delegates also received updates regarding Teacher Quality and The NEA Foundation.

NCUEA delegates voted to take positions on six Amendments to the NEA Standing Rules, six amendments to the NEA Constitution and four Amendments to NEA Bylaws. Additionally, NCUEA members voted to submit three New Business Items (NBIs) to the 2010 NEA Representative Assembly.

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