National Education Association (NEA)
I. Background Information
a. Established National Teachers Association (NTA)
b. Initially only 100 members
c. Women were allowed to join
d. Became National Education Association
B. Current Status
1. 3.2 million members
2. Largest professional employee organization
3. Largest union in America
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The NEA is composed of three point two million members and has affiliate organizations is every state. According to "About NEA" (2002-2012), “Our Mission: Is to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world” (NEA's Vision, Mission, and Values).
There is a list a page long of legal issues that the NEA is confronted with daily. Advocating for public education and educational issues come hand-in-hand with the law. The NEA is very involved in our country’s political arena. One main issue that this union has, although they claim to be non-partisan, is that they definitely lean toward the Democratic Party. In the past they have clearly have endorsed and provided support for Democratic candidates for presidency. In the big picture this has, can, and will continue to hurt them concerning recruiting members who are strong supporters of the Republican and Independent parties.
Although they are very politically forward and active, there are areas in which the NEA gains large amounts of criticism, from embezzlement, to teacher misconduct, to putting its teachers ahead of the students. They claim always to have the best interest of the children and their education in mind but when they fail to do so it can be extremely harmful. The Union fails in the biggest sense when they allow a teacher to stay in his or her position not fulfilling the required job duties. This in turn fails our nation’s youth. When educators become complacent in their job, they are hurting more than just themselves and causing life last effects.
Education in America will forever be changing, growing, requiring focus, and voice of its members. Working as a part of this union does offer educators collective bargaining power and legal representation. The NEA is a continuing force and a political powerhouse for the rights of children as well as any employee involved with the education process. Because they are such a large voice, they are recognized at local, state, and federal levels. They offer their members free legal services. According to "CEA - Colorado Education Association" (2010), “Our Association provides comprehensive legal assistance for a wide range of employment matters such as performance evaluations; discipline; nonrenewal, lay-offs,...