Free Essay Sample Dedicated to the National Education Association

Published: 2022-10-21
Free Essay Sample Dedicated to the National Education Association
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Education
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1382 words
12 min read

The History of the Group

The National Education Association is an American voluntary association consisting of teachers and administrators as well as other educators of secondary schools, colleges, and universities. It is one of the largest professional organizations in the world with its headquarters based in Washington. The association originated in 1857 with its initial names as the National Teachers Association. In 1870, it emerged as the American National School Association. It has over 2.5 million members currently (Spring, 2011). The National Education Association has an organizational structure that is complex with the general purpose of advancing the public education and the welfare of its members. With a large number of professional staff and well-established committees and commissions, National Education Association provides various services through research and federal government agencies thus promoting the federal legislation with the defense of the rights of its members.

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Also, the National Education Association consists of many national bodies based on professional and vocational interests. The departments in National Education Association have their dues that pay their members, officers, and the local affiliates. Since the National Education Association is viewed as a confederation of the affiliated local with the state education association, it is represented in the assembly. Therefore, it establishes its policies in the elections with the composition of delegates from the affiliated association.

The rapid growth of membership in the National Education Association creates much representation in the assembly. Therefore, it forms the local and state association that seeks to improve the working conditions of its members as well as those of the schools (Ravitch, 2011). With the National Education Association setting salary scales and conditions for the employment of its members, the educational authority and the financing is vested in the American government. Therefore, the members of the locals from all the states in the United States of America must join the association.

National Education Association demands from the Government

The National Education Association, the American's labor union, is represented by three million employees from across the state and 14, 000 communities. The association represents education support professions, teachers and administrators that exercise the political clout in the contract negotiations that advocates for its members. The National Education Association has the goal of advocating for the educational programs and the union of its members hence ensuring that the government fulfills the promises to the education for students' success.

The National Education Association plays a major role in the political arena of the United States of America. The association is associated with the political action of the committees that contribute over $120 million to the federal candidates. The association also offers 97% of support to the Democrats and liberals. National Education Association also entangles in the local politics with its major contribution based on the nonprofit organization.

The National Education Association started as a National Teachers Association with 43 educators that helped in advocating for public education. Its rapid growth represents over three million members by 2015 and issues advocacy for the support of the Morrill Act of 1886 that supported the land-grant college and the creation of the public universities(Ravitch, 2011). The created department of the National Education Association was devoted to collecting information vital for the public systems. The National Education Association membership was open to the women. As a result, the association continued to gain political victories with the plans of promoting the government pension plans. The aim of the association remained to advocate for the implementation of the education act that could provide the federal funding necessary for the development of education.

From the interview with the developers of the National Education Association, the association is said to have grown and gained various victories from the state. It is has gained from the state the collective bargaining agreement for the unions public sector. Although this contradicts with the practices allowed by the public employee unions, the association's negotiations support the election to office and also balance the power of negotiation for the other unions.

The National Education Association Political Power

The National Education Association is unique with the monopoly supply of teachers to the government. With its growth, the National Education Association can govern the destiny of the public schools with various benefits. The association also acts as a union since it was formed to serve the purpose of a union. As a result, the union works diligently to solve the challenges of reforms that may limit the control of teachers' job certification, job security as well as an effective working environment for the teachers. The reforms of the government are vital for public expenditures. Therefore, teachers and professional educators working hours, better pay and security tenure should be considered. The association, as a result, enables the government to realize that money and power are the main goals of the association.

The National Education Association power starts from the top of the political system. With its union with the Democratic Party, the association dominates the platform for the nomination process(Ravitch, 2011). Over one-third of the delegates of the National Education Association members support the goals of the union towards the ideals of the Democratic Party. Therefore, there is centralization of the power and resources in the association at the federal level. The association applauds the goals for the educational goals with the step towards the national curriculum as well as the certification of teachers nationally. The actions by the government are seen to centralize the union's power hence allows for the influence and control of the association's goals.

The president of the National Education Association applauded the role of the federal government in the education sector. The government's role ensures the quality of the education is defined. Also, the increase of the funding of the various programs of education as well as the provision of the funds for training of the teachers were as a result of the association advocating for the change in the education sector(Spring, 2011). The bills increased bureaucratization of the education in America with the local control of programs of the school. With the control of the programs in the school, the association ensures the government recognizes the demands by the labor and management unions on the bargaining table.

National Education Association Finances

The National Education Association funding comes from the dues paid its members which are about $295 million. From the National Education Association website, the yearly membership dues are about $300. Since the federal government prohibits the association from using the dues money on the other assets other than assisting the federal candidate, the political party benefits the most from the funds. The National Education Association funds for children and public education also is a source of funding for the association with the contribution coming from the voluntary members of the association. The money may also be used to assist the federal candidate or the political parties.

Opposition to the National Education Association

National Education Association has received substantial criticism. It has been argued that the association puts more emphasis on the interests of the teachers other than the education of the students. Also, the National Education Association has supported the increase in the salary of teachers with different measures that ensure the compensation of the teachers. On the other hand, the association has opposed the measure for the merits of school vouchers with the current reforms of the curriculum. The alleged goals of the association on the changing public opinion on the education sector are also highly criticized.


The National Education Association membership takes advantage of the state condition for the associations' interests. The association's goals allow the parents to use government funding for educating their children. With the members supported by the network system of the state, the affiliates perform great activities raising funds for the educational programs such as scholarships and also bargaining for the contract for the members of the association. The state affiliates also offer the state legislator with the funding and resources which seek the influence on the educational policy. As a result, the association campaigns for the high professional standards. The extent to which the association contributes to the federal state with the support of the candidates and the political parties is fundamental.


Ravitch, D. (1996). 50 States, 50 Standards? The Continuing Need for National Voluntary Standards in Education. The Brookings Review, 14(3), 6. doi:10.2307/20080652

Spring, J. (2011).The Politics of American Education.doi:10.4324/9780203838990

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