Democracy in action: new NEA resolutions and resolutions amended at the 2006 Representative Assembly.
A-2. Educational Opportunity for All
The National Education Association believes that each student has the right to a free public education that should be suited to the needs of the individual and guaranteed by state constitutions and the United States Constitution. Education is a lifelong process, and public education serves a constituency that embraces all age groups. Access to and opportunities for postsecondary education should be widely available, and no qualified student should be denied such opportunities because of financial considerations.
The Association also believes that all schools must be accredited under uniform standards established by the appropriate agencies in collaboration with the Association and its affiliates and that the accreditation process must provide sufficient flexibility to enable individual schools to achieve educational excellence and respond to the needs of their students and community. The development of a periodic review of locally established programs should involve community members, parents/guardians, students, teachers, and education support professionals. The Association further believes that individuals, at their expense, should be free to choose, to supplement, or to substitute education in privately supported, nonsegregated, nonpublic schools.
The Association believes tax-exempt status should be denied to those institutions whose policies and/or practices prevent the integration of the institutions. (1969, 2006)
A-5. American Education Week
The National Education Association believes that American Education Week is an important observance during which positive attention should be focused on the contributions of public education and education employees. (1997, 2006)
A-10. School Boards
The National Education Association believes that it is the responsibility of school boards to provide a quality education to each student within a school district. The Association also believes that school boards must provide resources and support so that each school in a district meets standards for educational excellence. The Association further believes that school boards must promote public understanding of the importance of public education and the schools and programs within their school districts.
The Association believes that the composition of school boards must be representative of the population within the school district, including minority groups; that board members must be elected by the voters in the school district; and that board members must be elected from representative districts. The Association opposes federal, state, and local takeovers of public schools, public school districts, and their governing boards. The Association also believes that the closing of schools by school boards to avoid legislative corrective action is not in the best interest of students, parents, or school employees. The Association further believes that provisions should be made for parents/guardians of students who are attending school in a district other than their home district as part of a court-ordered interdistrict busing plan to have substantive influence on board actions and policies.
The Association believes that student participation in a school board's deliberative process should be encouraged; however, student input in the voting process should be advisory only. Wherever a school board includes student members, the Association also believes that the student members should be excluded from participating in discussions, receiving information, and voting on issues dealing with education employees and items contained in negotiated agreements.
The Association further believes that school board meetings must be held at times and places that a]low education employees, local affiliates, and the community to participate in educational decision making. (1980, 2006)
A-14. Financial Support of Public Education
The National Education Association believes that every state should ensure its students a quality education by providing the funding needed to enable all students to achieve educational excellence. Such an education requires adequate and equitable funding from public tax sources for schools to obtain the resources (e.g., personnel, programs, materials, buildings, and technology) to meet the needs of all students. The Association also believes that--
a. An increasing portion of public funds should be for direct instruction of students.
b. The amount of aid must be generally predictable for long-range planning and specifically predictable for year-to-year planning.
c. Present programs of specific aid must be expanded and improved by consolidation and simplification of administration.
d. Tax revision favorable to public education should be encouraged and continually reviewed at every governmental level.
e. Local governing boards must be fiscally independent, and restrictive limits must not be imposed on their budgets or long-term borrowing.
f. The state and local share of finance must be derived from a tax system that is balanced and complementary in nature, includes all broad-based taxes, reduces the excessive reliance on property taxes, and protects subsistence income.
g. Provisions must be made for research, development, implementation, continuation, and improvement in education practices. Funding must be included for resources such as personnel, time for staff planning, training and professional development, facilities, equipment, and materials.
h. State and federal mandates affecting public education programs must be accompanied by adequate and equitable funding.
i. School trust lands must be administered with the generation of funds for public education as a primary goal and in a manner that ensures the sustainable use of those lands by current and future generations. State school trust funds should be fairly compensated by the federal government for school trust lands included in national parks, monuments, of wilderness areas.
j. Efforts should be made at the state and federal levels to ensure stable, adequate, and equitable funding of public schools historically receiving revenues derived from state and federal lands and natural resources. These efforts should include, but not be limited to, ensuring the sustainable use of these public lands and resources by current and future generations.
k. Additional funding must be provided to cover the cost of achieving the goals of raising student performance, implementing new programs, and raising standards of student learning.
l. Funding should be greater for students facing social, economic, and/or education challenges.
m. Funds must be provided for programs to alleviate race, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination and to eliminate portrayal of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identification stereotypes in the public schools.
n. Public funds must not be expended for any materials used to promote race, gender, of sexual orientation and gender identification stereotypes and/or biases.
o. Public funds must not be expended in institutions where either specific programs or the institution has been found guilty of discrimination.
p. Categorical funding must be assured in areas such as special education, bilingual/English as a second language, class size reduction, and the economically/educationally disadvantaged.
q. Any institution, agency, or individual receiving financial aid from federal, state, or local governments must adhere to all applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations.
r. Full-day, every day kindergarten programs should be fully funded.
s. Federal, state, and, as appropriate, local governments should provide funds sufficient to make pre-kindergarten available for all three- and four-year-old children.
t. It is inappropriate to support the educational programs of a public school by the sale of non-nutritious foods and beverages to students during the school day.
u. Public funds should be based on student enrollment rather than student attendance.
The Association opposes providing any public revenues to pre-K through 12 schools for sectarian instruction. The Association also opposes providing such revenues to sectarian and nonsectarian pre-K through 12 private schools or to nonpublic school students in pre-K through 12 education, unless such revenues are used for educational services that are not available in public schools to which students have reasonable access. (1997, 2006)
A-15. Federal Financial Support for Education
The National Education Association believes that the federal government has a legitimate and proper concern and responsibility for the quality of public education provided to its citizens.
The federal government should--a.
a. Ensure equity and adequacy of educational opportunity for all
b. Collect basic data to be used in public schools and to engage in research, development, and consultation activities that support quality state and local education programs
c. Grant supplemental aid to states that are not able to raise adequate funds to provide all students with a high-quality education and to provide funding to support state and local government efforts in pursuit of national interests in public education.
Therefore, federal funding formulas should reflect the most current, accurate accounting of the public school population; measurements of poverty; and the state's ability to raise adequate funds. The Association also believes that funding for federal programs should be substantially increased, not merely redistributed among states or other federal initiatives.
The Association further believes that there should be federal support for education whereby:
a. The federal government assumes a full partnership role with local school districts by providing significant levels of federal funding for elementary and secondary education through a program of general aid and categorical assistance along with the mandatory full funding of mandated federal programs.
b. Federal education funding is clear and identifiable within the federal budget.
c. Federally funded instructional programs have maximum teacher involvement in their development at the federal level and must be implemented at the local level only after the involvement and approval of the recognized bargaining agent or local affiliate.
d. Advisory committees for federally funded programs reflect the ethnic makeup of local communities and maintain a gender balance to ensure accountability and equity. Parents/guardians, students, and educators should be included as members of these committees.
e. The amount of aid is generally predictable for long-range planning and specifically predictable for year-to-year planning.
f. Federal legislation complies with civil rights statutes and is consistent with the constitutional provision respecting the establishment of religion and provides for judicial review as to its constitutionality.
g. Categorical funding is assured in areas such as special education, bilingual/English as a second language, and the economically/educationally disadvantaged.
The Association believes that federal monies budgeted for pre-K through 12 education must be equitably and adequately expended for public education at the pre-K through 12 level. The Association opposes any federal legislation, laws, or regulations that provide funds, goods, or services to sectarian schools. The Association also opposes providing such funds, goods, or services to nonsectarian private schools or nonpublic school students in pre-K through 12 education, unless those funds, goods, or services are used for educational services that are not available in public schools to which students have reasonable access. The Association condemns and deplores federal policies and programs that serve to undermine America's historical commitment to free public education. (1983, 2006)
A-28. Local Education Foundations
The National Education Association believes that local education foundations (LEFs) can strengthen the educational objectives of a school system by supporting programs that will enhance the approved school curriculum. LEFs are nonprofit organizations whose boards represent local community and education leaders. Each LEF is unique in its operation with the purpose of generating resources for local public education programs.
The Association also believes that LEFs should be separate from the local board of education and district administration, and must not supplant local budgets. The Association further believes that education employees in positions within ah LEF-funded program must be a part of ah existing collective bargaining unit, or in nonbargaining jurisdictions, must be subject to the existing legislation, employer policy, and/or other sources that establish the terms and conditions of employment.
The Association believes that LEFs should grant awards to education employees in a fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory process. LEFs should establish, publish, and implement clear guidelines for granting awards.
The Association believes that education employees included in LEF grant programs must be protected from reproach by school and/or community members. (2006)
A-32. Takeover of Public Schools or Public School Districts
The National Education Association believes that the locally elected school board should govern the school district to provide an educational program designed to meet the needs of all students in the district. School boards of public school districts undergoing a program improvement process should maintain their authority over school district business as duly elected officials of the school district.
The Association also believes that if a takeover of a public school or a public school district occurs, current collective bargaining agreements and due process rights must be maintained. Employees of these public schools and public school districts should remain bargaining unit members of local, state, and national affiliates.
The Association further believes that federal, state, and local support should be given to public schools and public school districts undergoing a program improvement process. Support should also be provided by local and state affiliates, as well as the Association.
The Association believes that if charter schools are created to replace public schools that have been taken over, they must follow all current laws regarding charter schools and comply with the Association's criteria for acceptable charter schools. (2006)
A-34. School Restructuring
The National Education Association believes that school restructuring efforts must employ a democratic process that meaningfully involves local associations and other stakeholders in all decision making. Such efforts must-a.
a. Adhere to collectively bargained labor agreements
b. Comply with all appropriate school board policies
c. Provide the funding necessary to implement and sustain the restructuring
d. Weigh the consequences of restructuring on all students, education employees, the entire school system, and the community. (2006)
B-6. Adult Education
The National Education Association supports adult education programs that provide lifelong educational and career opportunities. The Association also recognizes the importance of high school completion, English language acquisition, parenting education, career training, and other adult education programs that provide students with an opportunity to become productive, effective, and responsible parents, citizens, and community members. (2006)
B-11. Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identification Discrimination
The National Education Association believes in the equality of all individuals. Discrimination and stereotyping based on such factors as race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, and religion must be eliminated.
The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a legally recognized domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration.
The Association further believes that plans, activities, and programs for education employees, students, parents/guardians, and the community should be developed to identify and eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in all educational settings. Such plans, activities, and programs must-a.
a. Increase respect, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity toward individuals and groups in a diverse society composed of such groups as American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered persons, and people with disabilities
b. Eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, activities, etc.
c. Foster the dissemination and use of nondiscriminatory and nonstereotypical language, resources, practices, and activities
d. Eliminate institutional discrimination
e. Integrate an accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of all groups throughout history across curricula, particularly groups who have been underrepresented historically
f. Identify how prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination have limited the roles and contributions of individuals and groups, and how these limitations have challenged and continue to challenge our society
g. Eliminate subtle practices that favor the education of one student over another on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, ethnicity, or religion
h. Encourage all members of the educational community to examine assumptions and prejudices, including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, and homophobia, that might limit the opportunities and growth of students and education employees
i. Offer positive and diverse role models in our society, including the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of diverse education employees in our public schools
j. Coordinate with organizations and concerned agencies that promote the contributions, heritage, culture, history, and special health and care needs of diverse population groups
k. Promote a sale and inclusive environment for all.
The Association encourages its affiliates to develop and implement training programs on these matters. (1996, 2006)
B-24. Alternative Programs for At-Risk and/or Students With Special Needs
The National Education Association recognizes that there must be increased development and maintenance of alternative programs to meet the needs of at-risk and/or students with special needs, pre-kindergarten through adult. The Association recommends early and appropriate identification and placement of these students. Teachers, related service providers, and administrators should receive necessary training in diagnostic processes and alternative methods of teaching and learning. Appropriate training should also be provided to education support professionals. In addition, parents/guardians and other school community members should be encouraged to acquire the training to effectively meet the needs of these students.
Programs should emphasize a broad range of activities for responding to students' differing behavioral patterns, interests, needs, cultural backgrounds, and learning styles. These programs must be evaluated on stated objectives and standards. Teachers in these programs must have a major role in designing the objectives and evaluations and working with appropriate school and community personnel to execute these objectives and evaluations.
The Association believes that at-risk students who are assigned to an alternative placement due to discipline issues should be required to exhibit regular attendance and adequate academic and behavioral progress, in accordance with planned interventions for the student's individual needs, prior to their return to a regular educational setting.
The Association also believes that the rights of students who are protected under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Americans with Disabilities Act must be preserved.
The Association urges its affiliates to seek adequate compensation, planning time, materials, and facilities for all education professionals involved in these programs.
The Association supports the efforts of its affiliates to negotiate and legislate for the training of teachers seeking additional certification and hiring of an increased number of teachers with education in special areas.
In higher education settings, faculty and education support professionals who are working with students with special needs should be provided with appropriate resources to accommodate these students' special requirements.
The Association encourages its state affiliates to seek legislation that would require any person offering services to remediate, correct, or ameliorate reading, speech, language, behavioral, emotional, or learning disabilities, of related problems to be licensed under regulations of each state's department of public instruction or other appropriate agency. (1977, 2006)
B-25. Gifted, Talented, and Creative Students
The National Education Association believes that there must be educational programs and services for gifted, talented, and creative students, and supports federal and state funding for the education of these students. The Association also believes that there must be well-developed criteria and guidelines for identifying and teaching these students. Such identification must not discriminate on any basis other than the exceptionality being identified.
The Association further believes that professional development programs in gifted and talented education must be provided for all appropriate education employees.
The Association urges its affiliates to promote the development and implementation of such services to gifted children and support for all educators working with this special needs population. (1980, 2006)
B-28. Education for All Students with Disabilities
The National Education Association supports a free, appropriate public education for all students with disabilities in a least restrictive environment, which is determined by maximum teacher and parent/guardian involvement. There must be a full continuum of placement options and services/delivery models available to students with disabilities. In order to implement federal special education legislation effectively, the Association recognizes that--
a. A fully accessible educational environment, using appropriate instructional materials, support services, and pupil personnel services, must match the learning needs of both students with and students without disabilities.
b. Student placement must be based on individual needs rather than on available space, funding, or local philosophy of a school district. Student placements must be examined on a regular basis to ensure appropriateness whereby all needed services and support will be provided and should not be made disproportionately by ethnicity or gender. Necessary building/staff modifications must be provided to facilitate such placement.
c. General and special education teachers, pupil personnel and related service providers, and education support professionals who work with the student, and administrators, parents/guardians, and the student, as appropriate, should have input in the development of the individualized education program (IEP) and must have access to the IEP.
d. General and special education teachers, pupil personnel and related service providers, education support professionals, and administrators, parents/guardians, and students, as appropriate, must share in implementing the IEP. Prior to implementation, all necessary educational materials, professional development, and supportive services must be provided.
e. Students with physical disabilities and/or medical needs requiring nursing procedures must have their medical needs met by certified/professional school nurses.
f. All impacted staff members must have an appeal procedure regarding the implementation of the IEP, especially in terms of student placement. The procedure must include the right to have the dissenting opinion recorded and attached to the IEP.
g. Suspension and expulsion policies and practices used by local education agencies must be applied consistently to both students with and students without disabilities where misconduct is shown to be unrelated to either the disabling condition or to improper placement.
h. A plan recognizing individual differences must be used in a systematic evaluation and reporting of program development.
i. Limitations must be made in class size and/or case loads, using methods such as weighted formulas, modified scheduling, and/or curriculum design to accommodate the demands of each IEP.
j. All teachers who serve students with disabilities must have scheduled access to resource personnel, instructional assistants, paraprofessionals, co-teachers, and special education teachers.
k. The student's IEP should not be used as criteria for the evaluation of education employees.
l. Communications must be maintained among all involved parties.
m. Staff must not be reduced.
n. All staff must be adequately prepared for their roles through appropriate licensing and ongoing professional development programs.
o. Incentives for participation in professional development activities should, as mandated by law, be made available for education employees.
p. Education employees, as mandated by law, must be appointed to local and state advisory bodies on special education.
q. Education employees must be allowed to take part in the U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on-site visits to states. Education employees should be invited to these meetings.
r. Local affiliates and education employees must be recruited, trained, and involved in monitoring school system compliance with federal special education legislation.
s. Adequate released time or funded additional time must be made available so that teachers can carry out the increased demands placed upon them by federal special education legislation.
t. Collective bargaining and other means should be used to minimize the potentially severe impact on staff that results from the implementation of special education legislation.
u. Benefits for staff working with students with disabilities must be negotiated through collective bargaining agreements and must be honored.
v. Full funding must be provided by local, state, and federal governments. (1978, 2006)
B-32. Youth and Adult Training Programs
The National Education Association believes that the public schools should be involved as an equal partner with government, labor, business, agriculture, and community-based groups in youth and adult employment and training programs. The Association also believes that these programs should supplement, and not supplant, the vocational, career, and technical education programs provided in the public schools.
The Association further believes that the use of funds for and the duration of these programs should be flexible in order to accommodate the differing learning needs of students. The amount of funding should be predictable in order to facilitate year-to-year planning. These programs should provide opportunities for women, persons with disabilities, and ethnic minorities in nontraditional occupations. (1980, 2006)
B-37. Multiple World Language Education
The National Education Association believes that the acquisition of multiple world languages is a vital part of the educational experience and that those who leave school speaking more than one language will be more competitive in the global marketplace. The Association also believes that the cumulative hours of exposure to the target language during a student's educational career is the most important determinant leading to fluency and proficiency in a second language. Students should have the opportunity to acquire age-appropriate world language skills from an integrated curriculum throughout the pre-kindergarten-higher education experience.
The Association supports the maintenance of current programs and the further encouragement and development of world language instruction and international studies at all educational levels.
The Association recognizes the need for teacher preparation programs for world language teachers and supports teacher and student exchange programs. (1981, 2006)
B-39. Vocational, Career, and Technical Education
The National Education Association believes that preparation of students for vocational, career, and technical jobs should be the responsibility of secondary, adult, and higher education in collaboration with labor and business. Educational programs that ensure equal opportunity for occupational development and encourage students to consider nontraditional vocations should be developed for all students at all levels. Vocational, career, and technical education should provide a comprehensive program of lifelong learning for the training, advancement, and promotion of all students.
The Association supports vocational, career, and technical education as a major component of education and advocates that every student have the opportunity to enroll in such classes without restrictions. To be effective, vocational, career, and technical education should be preceded by career awareness and exploration programs. These vocational, career, and technical education courses should be coordinated and integrated with traditionally academic courses. These integrated programs should be combined, when appropriate, with cooperative efforts on the part of educators and industrial and business leaders to provide school-to-work experiences for students. Organized vocational, career, and technical education programs offer a sequence of courses that are directly related to the preparation of individuals in paid or unpaid employment in current and emerging occupations. Such programs shall include competency-based applied learning that contributes to an individual's academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, interpersonal and collaborative skills, general employability skills, and the occupational-specific skills necessary for economic independence as a productive and contributing member of society.
The Association also believes that adequate resources must be provided for educators to maintain, enhance, and expand quality vocational, career, and technical education programs; to procure up-to-date equipment and materials for those programs; and to prepare students for a highly technical work environment. The Association further believes that the involvement of education employees, private sector employment and training program personnel, and the labor and business communities is essential to the development of quality vocational, career, and technical education programs. The Association believes such resources should be substantially increased, not merely redistributed among states or other federal initiatives. (1976, 2006)
B-45. Environmental Education
The National Education Association believes that the environment must be protected. The Association urges the establishment and maintenance of federal wilderness areas, recreational areas, refuge areas, and designated local green areas. The Association supports educational programs that promote--
a. The concept of the interdependence of humanity and nature
b. An awareness of the effects of past, present, and future population growth patterns on world civilization, human survival, and the environment
c. The protection of endangered, threatened, and rare species
d. The protection of the Earth's finite resources
e. Solutions to environmental problems such as nonrenewable resource depletion, pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, and acid precipitation and deposition
f. The use of reusable and recyclable products and discourage the use of disposable products
g. An understanding of energy, alternative energy sources, and energy conservation
h. The use of disposal methods that do not contaminate the environment
i. The recognition of and participation in such activities as Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Energy Education Day
j. The understanding of the value of the world's ecosystems.
The Association also urges its affiliates to support environmental programs in school systems and educational institutions and supports legislation and local policies that ensure a sale and healthy environment. (1973, 2006)
8-46. Science Education
The National Education Association believes that the content in science education must be based on empirical evidence derived from the scientific method and must include the processes of that method. The Association also believes that content and curriculum must be based on the National Science Education Standards of the National Research Council (NRC) and/or the Benchmarks for Science Literacy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). (2005, 2006)
B-49. Lifesaving Techniques
The National Education Association believes that education employees and students should be trained in basic emergency lifesaving techniques. Such training should be included in both school curriculum and staff development. The Association also believes that education employees should be provided the opportunity for training in CPR and the proper use of defibrillators. (1982, 2006)
B-62. Assessment of Student Learning
The National Education Association supports ongoing comprehensive assessment of student growth. A student's level of performance is best assessed with authentic measures directly linked to the lessons teachers teach and the materials teachers use.
The Association believes that the primary purposes of assessment are to--
a. Assist students and their parents/guardians in identifying the students' strengths and needs
b. Encourage students to become lifelong learners
c. Measure a program's effectiveness, communicate learning expectations, and provide a basis for determining instructional strategies
d. Develop appropriate learning experiences for students.
The Association also believes that no one measure should be used to determine a student's performance. Teachers should utilize a variety of measures to accurately assess student growth. All methods of assessment shall provide the necessary accommodations, modifications, and exemptions, and be free of cultural, racial, and gender biases.
The Association further believes that classroom teachers must be involved in the development of assessment systems and are best qualified to determine the criteria for assessment of students and dissemination of results. Instruments used to communicate student progress must be accurate and meaningful to students, parents, and other stakeholders. (1981, 2006)
B-68. Cell Phones and Personal Communication Devices in Schools
The National Education Association believes that schools should develop guidelines for the appropriate use of cell phones and personal communication devices during the school day. Such guidelines should promote respect (or privacy, intellectual integrity, and a positive learning environment. (2006)
B-75. Home Schooling
The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.
The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.
The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)
The National Education Association believes that proper nutrition is essential to child development and student success. The Association also believes that proper nutrition must be a part of prenatal care and must continue throughout life.
The Association supports programs within the education framework that promote understanding of proper nutrition. In addition, the Association advocates efforts to develop uniform symbols that make clear to consumers which food choices promote good nutrition.
The Association further believes school food service programs must be nutritionally sound, appealing, and affordable. A choice of nutritious plant-based foods should be available. The Association also supports nutrition programs that ate regulated by uniform standards, readily accessible, and are supported by public funds.
The Association believes that changes in the way public funds are allocated for school food service programs must maintain quality and appropriate levels of service as well as support additional funding, given projected increases in population and need. (1990, 2006)
C-16. Telephone and the Internet
The National Education Association believes that children should be protected from exploitation via telephone and the Internet. (1989, 2006)
C-22. School Transportation
The National Education Association believes that free transportation should be provided for all public school students residing beyond a reasonable and safe walking distance from their assigned schools, and that local school districts should provide students with transportation for all school-related activities.
All school bus personnel who are utilized to transport students should be publicly employed.
The Association also believes that, if necessary for the safety of the students, paid bus assistants should be provided. Qualified substitute drivers and/or bus assistants must be provided to transport students in the absence of members of the regular transportation staff. When traveling to all school related activities, the group's sponsor or chaperone should not be the group's bus driver.
The Association further believes in sale and orderly transportation of students. Rules, regulations, and procedures must be developed, enforced, and continually reviewed and revised to ensure it. In addition to an annual bus inspection, the proper agencies should also conduct random bus inspections. Buses that transport students, especially preschool-aged students and/or students with disabilities, should be equipped appropriately. (1977, 2006)
C-23. Comprehensive School Health, Social, and Psychological Programs and Services
The National Education Association believes that every child should have direct and confidential access to comprehensive health, social, and psychological programs and services. Such programs and services must be interactive and coordinated within and between school, home, and community settings. School and community efforts must also be integrated to promote the well-being of children and youth and to build support for school and community health programs.
The Association also believes that schools should provide--
a. A healthful psychological climate and a safe physical environment
b. Food services that provide nutritious meals and that help students to select nutritionally appropriate foods.
The Association further believes that programs in the schools should provide--
a. A planned, sequential, pre-K through 12 health education curriculum that promotes sound nutrition and that includes education concerning the health risks associated with obesity and eating disorders
b. A planned, sequential, pre-K through 12 health education curriculum that integrates various health topics (such as drug abuse, the dangers of performance-enhancing dietary herbal supplements, violence, safety issues, universal precautions, and HIV education); that is taught by teachers specifically prepared to teach the subject; and that enables students to develop the essential knowledge and skills to maintain personal, Family, and community health
c. A planned, sequential, pre-K through 12 physical education curriculum
d. Worksite health promotion to improve the health status of school staff to set an example For desired student behaviors.
The Association believes that services in the schools should include--
a. Counseling programs that provide developmental guidance and broad-based interventions and referrals that promote the physical and psychological health of students
b. Services that identify, diagnose, and resolve learning disabilities
c. Health services provided by a licensed professional school nurse that promote the health of students through prevention, case finding, early intervention, and remediation of specific health problems; that provide first aid and triage of illness and injuries; and that provide health counseling
d. A nurse-to-student ratio at each site that is at least one school nurse to every 750 students in the school population with adjustments to safely accommodate students with special health needs and chronic illness
e. Comprehensive school-based, community-funded student health care clinics that provide basic health care services (which may include diagnosis and treatment) to supplement school nurses
f. If deemed appropriate by local choice, family-planning counseling and access to birth control methods with instruction in their use
g. Coordination with community agencies for support and follow-up activities. The Association also believes that all health, social, and psychological services must be provided only by appropriately licensed and certificated professional personnel. The Association further believes that education employees, parents/guardians, students, and personnel from community agencies providing services to students must be involved in the development, implementation, and coordination of these services.
The Association urges its affiliates to support legislation to provide comprehensive care to all children and supports community, state, and national efforts to coordinate these services. (1969, 2006)
C-30. Student Rights and Responsibilities
The National Education Association believes that basic student rights include the right to free inquiry and expression; due process; gender equity; freedom of association; freedom of peaceful assembly and petition; participation in the governance of the school, college, and university; freedom from discrimination; freedom from commercial exploitation, including the payment of subminimum wages; and equal educational opportunity.
The Association also believes that each of these rights carries with it a comparable responsibility. Student responsibilities include regular school attendance, conscientious effort in classroom work and assessments, and conformance to school rules and regulations that do not abrogate these rights. Students share with the administration and faculty a responsibility to develop a climate within the school that is conducive to wholesome learning and living. No student has the right to interfere with the education of other students. It is the responsibility of each student to respect the rights of each person involved in the educational process.
The Association further believes in the confidentiality of student information and opposes its dissemination to any organization or institution without the consent of the student and/or parent/guardian.
The Association believes that student rights must be safeguarded when students are involved in commercial premium campaigns and fundraising activities. (1969, 2006)
D-14. Professional Development for Teachers and Administrators
The National Education Association believes that continuous professional development is required for teachers and administrators to achieve and maintain the highest standards of student learning and professional practice. The Association also believes that professional development should--
a. Be based upon dearly articulated goals reached by consensus of the school community
b. Be designed, directed by, and differentiated to meet the needs of affected professionals at each site
c. Support teachers in meeting the needs of students
d. Be incorporated into and aligned with (not added to) professional work expectations
e. Be standards-referenced and incorporate effective practice, relevant data, and current research
f. Be supported by adequate resources
g. Be career-long, rigorous, and sustained
h. Stimulate intellectual development and leadership capacity
i. Balance individual priorities with the needs of the school and the district
j. Include an ongoing assessment and evaluation component to determine effectiveness
k. Respond to, refine, improve, and adjust the professional development according to the feedback provided by the participants
* training and ongoing support for the implementation of new and expanded programs/skills
* training and ongoing support in the development of new and revised curricula and instructional strategies
* time during the regular work day and work year For inquiry, research, reflection, and collaboration
* opportunities for mentoring/peer coaching with colleagues on an ongoing basis
* a depth of subject matter knowledge and a greater understanding of the impact of culture, gender, and learning styles
* opportunities to assume new roles, including leadership positions
* flexibility for the use of a variety of resources such as university-school partnerships, professional development schools, exchange programs, professional development resource centers, and cultural and business resources. (1976, 2006)
D-15. Professional Development for Education Support Professionals
The National Education Association believes that professional development should be required throughout the career of education support professionals. Professional development programs should provide equal opportunities for these employees to gain and improve the knowledge and skills important to their position and job performance. Professional development programs should ensure that appropriate education employees have a decisive voice at every stage of planning, implementation, and evaluation. The Association also believes that professional development and continuing education serve as catalysts to recruit, retain, and promote qualified education support professionals. (1998, 2006)
D-20. Education Employee Evaluation
The National Education Association believes that formal performance-based evaluations must be augmented by formative evaluation components in order to assure the continuing competency of all education employees in their respective fields.
Effective evaluation procedures supported by professional development programs will enable all education employees to keep abreast of developments in their areas of specialization. Such procedures, with sufficient resources, can help ensure job competency, identify deficiencies in performance, and provide options such as counseling, training programs, a remediation plan, and opportunities to observe peers.
If following such an evaluation and after being given sufficient time, training, and opportunity For improvement, a person is then formally reevaluated and incompetency can be documented, dismissal proceedings with guaranteed due process may be instituted. Such proceedings must be implemented by administrators/evaluators who are properly trained and held accountable for appropriate and fair evaluation systems.
The Association also believes that the use of student achievement measures (e.g., grades, standardized test scores, etc.) as criteria in the evaluation process is inappropriate.
The Association further believes that classroom teachers, without fear of discipline or negative evaluation, must be given the discretion to modify the pace of predetermined progress rates, dictated pacing guides, and mandated scripted lesson pacing charts.
The evaluation procedure should be cooperatively developed and maintained n conjunction with representatives selected by the local affiliate and should include--
a. Clear performance expectations that are specific to the job description
b. Regular observation of job performance with advance notice and discussion of evaluation visits and a timely consultation after each visit
c. A written evaluation report to be provided to the person being evaluated
d. Opportunity for a written response prior to the placement of the evaluation in the personnel file
e. An employee improvement plan that will not interfere with any earned pay increase of longevity credit
f. A provision for an alternative evaluator and/or an opportunity for ah alternative evaluation report to ensure a fair and unbiased evaluation of the education employee
g. An unbiased appeals process with ah evidentiary hearing under oath.
The Association further believes that procedures for evaluation of administrators should include evaluations by education employees who are directly supervised by them.
By participating in an evaluation process, an education employee shall not waive his or her right to due process in any subsequent contractual of legal proceeding. (1969, 2006)
D-22. Evaluation and Promotion in Higher Education
The National Education Association affirms the importance of teaching in institutions of higher education and believes that research and publication should not be the only criteria on which higher education faculty are evaluated and/or promoted.
The Association also believes that its higher education members must be allowed to determine through the collective bargaining process the methods by which they are evaluated and promoted.
The Association further believes that in order to maintain high standards throughout higher education, administrators must undergo individual, periodic, and regular evaluation. The evaluation process must include input from a broad spectrum of the college/university community in order to provide a balance of perspective and evaluation effectiveness. (1986, 2006)
D-23. Promote the Retention of Career Educators
The National Education Association believes that experienced educators ate valuable resources in the promotion of educational excellence. The Association also believes that experienced educators should be encouraged to remain in, or return to, the education profession. This encouragement should be accomplished through strategies consistent with NEA policy, including, but not limited to, enhanced salaries and benefits, a supportive and respectful work environment, a reasonable workload, a secure pension accompanied by retiree health care benefits, and retirement enhancements that reward extended years of service. These strategies can be achieved through bargaining, legislation, of other means. (2001, 2006)
E-3. Selection and Challenges of Materials and Teaching Techniques
The National Education Association believes that democratic values can best be transmitted in an atmosphere that does not restrain free inquiry and learning. The Association also believes that quality teaching depends on the freedom to select materials and techniques. Teachers and school library media specialists must have the right to select and use materials and techniques without censorship or legislative interference. States, school districts, and educational institutions must include teachers and faculty as full voting members on textbook and curriculum review and adoption committees. Participation must be voluntary and compensated.
The Association deplores prepublishing censorship, book-burning crusades, and attempts to ban books from school library media centers and school curricula. Challenges to the choice of instructional materials and techniques must be orderly and objective, under procedures mutually adopted by professional associations and school governing boards.
Materials in all subject areas should--
a. Include strategies that encourage student interaction
b. Be developmentally appropriate
c. Include appropriate accommodations and modifications for students with special needs
d. Be free from stereotypes
e. Address divergent points of view
f. Contain sufficient activities to teach the concepts
g. Provide for the evaluation of higher level thinking.
Instructional materials and equipment must be provided in sufficient variety and quantity to serve all students. (1969, 2006)
E-5. Development of Materials
The National Education Association believes that public school teachers and postsecondary facuty should be involved in the development and field testing of all educational materials offered for adoption or purchase by public school districts and educational institutions. Materials in all subject areas should include strategies that encourage student interaction, be developmentally appropriate, include appropriate accommodations and modifications for students with special needs, be free of stereotypes, address divergent points of view, contain sufficient activities to teach the concepts, and provide for the evaluation of higher level thinking skills.
The Association also believes that requiring the use of electronic curriculum mapping and lesson planning software via district networks and the Internet should not impose additional time burdens on teachers, and must be accompanied by adequate training and compensation. Adoption of such practices should be a collaborative effort among teachers, administrators, and local boards of education.
Where school districts and educational institutions involve teachers and faculty in the development of any educational materials, participation should be voluntary and compensated. (1984, 2006)
E-11. Professional Discretion in the Classroom
The National Education Association believes that daily contact with students as well as professional accountability place classroom teachers in the best position to address the educational needs of students.
The Association also believes that teachers are best suited to develop and deliver appropriate instructional programs that are consistent with state curriculum standards. The Association further believes that direct observation of students and analysis of data by the classroom teacher must guide instructional decisions without fear of reprisal.
The Association believes that, while programs focusing on scripted learning and pacing charts can serve as frames of reference, it is still incumbent on the classroom teacher to evaluate the efficacy of all instructional programs and to modify them when necessary in order to address the needs and facilitate the success of each student. (2006)
E-12. Intellectual Property and Access to Copyrighted Materials
The National Education Association believes that education employees should own the copyright to materials they create in the course of their employment. Ownership rights of education employees who create copyrightable materials should net prevent education employees from making appropriate use of such materials in providing educational services to their students. Employees should have the right to display, reproduce, and distribute copyrighted materials for educational purposes.
The Association also believes that students should own the copyright to materials they create in the course of their studies and, in the case of graduate students, to materials they create while working as teaching of research assistants. (1969, 2006)
F-8. Basic Contract Standards
The National Education Association believes that collective bargaining agreements between education employees, including part-time and temporary, and their employers should contain certain standard contractual concepts. The Association also believes that, in nonbargaining jurisdictions, these concepts should be incorporated into legislation, employer policy, and/or other sources that establish the terms and conditions of employment for education employees, including part-time and temporary. These concepts include--
a. A grievance procedure that terminates with final and binding arbitration
b. Just cause for any disciplinary action with guaranteed due process through final and binding arbitration and continuation of all employee rights, including full compensation and job security
c. A seniority list that is updated, published, and distributed annually
d. Layoff and recall based only on seniority as bargaining unit members, licensure/certification, and, to the extent legally permissible, affirmative action ([dagger])
e. Employer-paid benefits, including but not limited to comprehensive health, life, dental, vision, and income protection insurance and employee assistance programs, that fully cover bargaining unit members, domestic partners, and their families
f. Membership in the Association or the payment of a fair-share lee as a condition of employment
g. Required posting of all vacant or newly created positions along with the right of bargaining unit members to apply for these positions
h. Unassigned preparation, planning, and travel time as applicable for all members of the bargaining unit
i. Specified class size, teaching load, and job description
j. A duty-free lunch period of not less than 30 minutes for all members of the bargaining unit
k. Nondiscriminatory, fair, and equitable treatment of bargaining unit members
l. Contractually defined procedures for evaluation and promotion
m. Released time for Association business with full pay and benefits
n. Parental/child rearing leave for employees to provide care for natural or adopted children
o. Contractually defined procedures for ensuring education employee decision making in curriculum design and related instructional management and reporting systems
p. Time during the regular work day and work year for education employees to plan, to engage in professional development, to work on curriculum and assessment, to mentor and be mentored, and to provide professional leadership
q. Salan/schedules based upon preparation, professional growth, and length of service and excluding any form of merit pay except in institutions of higher education where it has been bargained
r. Placement and advancement on the salary schedule based on qualifications and number of years of experience in the profession
s. Extracurricular and extra-duty assignments filled on a voluntary basis and compensated at no less than the employee's regular rate of pay
t. Protection from being required to participate in community service
u. Retirement benefits based on all income derived from school employment
v. Clearly defined bargaining unit membership
w. A guaranteed sale and healthy working environment, including a secured/lockable storage space for personal belongings
x. The school calendar
y. Protection from unilateral changes in terms or conditions of employment
z. Provisions to define class loads, student contact hours, and contract hours for instructors who are involved in distance education, and to guarantee that technology and distance education are used to supplement, not supplant, employees. (1989, 2006)
F-14. Constitutional and Civil Rights--Employment Protection
The National Education Association, recognizing the continuing erosion of civil rights, reaffirms its commitment to protect the rights of all education employees. The Association believes that the constitutional rights guaranteed to all citizens shall not be abridged for public education employees. The Association also believes that all levels of government should monitor and enforce fair employment practice laws. The Association and its affiliates, working with federal, state, and local officials and agencies, shall work to promote enactment of and compliance with such laws and seek to include these rights in contractual agreements. (1991, 2006)
F-15. Continuing Employment and Fair Dismissal Practices
The National Education Association believes that security of position must be provided for all education employees through appropriate employment policies, including fair dismissal procedures. The laws and master contracts governing said procedures must afford all education employees, including probationary and substitute employees, procedural and substantive due process.
The Association also believes that state laws must provide for the continuing employment and/or tenure of state and/or local education employees and that federal laws must provide similar protection for education employees in federal schools. (1969, 2006)
F-31. Right to Privacy for Education Employees
The National Education Association believes that education employees must be guaranteed the rights of privacy. These rights must include--
a. Freedom from audio or video surveillance without the prior written permission of the individual
b. Freedom from harassment by individuals, organizations, or businesses due to unauthorized release or sale of employee records
c. Protection from exploitation via telephone and the Internet
d. Security of computer files, passwords, and user codes from inappropriate or unauthorized access
e. Authority to refuse a polygraph, lie detector, of other invasive method of evidence collection.
The Association also believes that fingerprinting is acceptable only for the purpose of a pre-employment or pre-licensure check for criminal records that ate pertinent to education employment. The Association opposes fingerprinting as a condition of continued employment of licensure. The Association further believes that all costs of fingerprinting must be borne by the employer of licensing agency. (1999, 2006)
F-47. School Nurses
The National Education Association urges its affiliates to enroll school nurses in active membership and to seek legislation that provides licensure/certification, inclusion in collective bargaining agreements, and achievement of an appropriate school nurse-to-student ratio. Each site must have at least one school nurse to every 750 students, with appropriate adjustments to safely accommodate students with special health needs and chronic illnesses.
The Association believes that professional development programs should be available to all licensed/certified school nurses to augment their skills in delivering health care services and in dealing with students with disabilities. (1980, 2006)
H-3. The Right To Vote
The National Education Association believes that the principle of one-person--one-vote must apply at all levels of government, including the election of the President of the United States.
The Association recognizes the right to vote as a constitutional right guaranteed to all eligible citizens. The Association supports the continued maintenance of the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Association also supports voting and absentee provisions that are accessible, simplified, accurate, reliable, and verifiable for all elections and further supports election administrations that provide for open, fair, secure, and publicly verifiable ballot counting.
The Association opposes all actions that encourage or result in voter disenfranchisement. The Association supports voter education programs and uniform registration requirements without restrictive residency provisions or restrictive identification requirements. (1971, 2006)
I-1. Peace and International Relations
The National Education Association recognizes the interdependence of all People. The Association believes in the ideals of peace, freedom, and human dignity based upon respect for the individual and cultural diversity. The Association urges all nations to develop treaties and disarmament agreements that reduce the possibility of war, provide for the Peaceful resolution of conflicts, and guarantee the rights of nations to exist within safe and secure borders, free from the threat of preemptive attacks. The Association also believes that such treaties and agreements should prevent the placement of weapons in outer space.
The Association supports the principles stated in the United Nations (UN) Charter and believes that the UN furthers world peace and promotes the rights of all people by preventing war, racism, and genocide. The Association further believes that Education International contributes to peace and international relations by promoting dialogue among the world's education employees.
The Association supports the U.S. Institute of Peace, which provides publications, information, programs, training, and research data in developing peacemaking and conflict resolution skills. (1973, 2006)
The National Education Association supports efforts to improve the immigration process, including the provision of due process, political asylum, and timely legalization without regard to national origin. The Association also supports policies that protect the integrity of the family unit. The Association believes that English and citizenship classes should be available in sufficient numbers to ensure that immigrating individuals can comply with all federal mandates for permanent residence and/or citizenship.
The Association opposes any immigration policy that denies human and/or civil rights or educational opportunities to immigrants and their children regardless of their immigration status, hinders workers' abilities to organize, imposes excessive lees and fines on those seeking legalization, of criminalizes individuals or groups who support or assist immigrants regardless of their status. The Association condemns such policies as inhumane and discriminatory. (1984, 2006)
I-56. Ethnic-Minority Educators
The National Education Association believes that multiracial teaching staffs are essential to the operation of schools. The Association deplores the current trend of diminishing numbers of ethnic-minority educators.
The Association urges local and state affiliates and appropriate governing bodies and agencies to work to achieve and maintain ethnic diversity in all categories of educational employment. The Association also urges Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools to actively recruit and hire ethnic-minority educators.
The Association also believes that, whenever possible and/or appropriate, elders and/or community leaders of a particular culture should be invited to share their skills and knowledge as instructors of a culturally appropriate curriculum. (1979, 2006)
J-5. Student Member Participation
The National Education Association believes that eligible students should have the opportunity to join the Association. The Association also believes that students should be encouraged to participate in the Association at the local, state, and national levels. Preprofessional and leadership training should be priorities.
The Association further believes that its members should promote membership in the NEA Student Program to all eligible students, including student teachers in members' classrooms, and provide opportunities for community outreach, professional development, and political action. The Association believes that advisors of NEA Student chapters should be members of the Association.
The Association believes that state affiliates should facilitate the establishment of student chapters in all higher education institutions that offer teacher preparation programs.
The Association also believes that local and state affiliates should collaborate with student programs in order to facilitate the transition from student to professional membership status within the Association so that Student members become involved in the activities and leadership pathways of the professional Association and its affiliates. (1991, 2006)
J-7. Promotion of Teaching as a Career Choice
The National Education Association supports the establishment of organizations involving students interested in the field of education as a profession. The Association believes that its state and local affiliates should promote the establishment of such organizations at all age levels and encourage its members to serve as advisers.
The Association also believes that state and local affiliates should strive to build cooperative relationships and partnerships with government, business, and community leaders to promote the field of education as a profession and as a vital role in every community. (1980, 2006)
([dagger]) See the NEA Handbook for the Policy Statement on Affirmative Action adopted by the 1997 Representative Assembly.
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|Date:||Sep 1, 2006|
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