March 13, 1997
Thank you for your letter of March 5 regarding your concerns, and those of the WEAC Board of Directors. ... They are greatly appreciated. ...
I had several reasons for giving the Press Club speech. One reason, of course was to serve notice to the country and our members, in a dramatic way, that NEA is heading in a new, more assertive, direction regarding the national debate on professional issues and education reform. Judging from the reaction so far from around the country, that goal is being accomplished.
I believe, as do most friends of NEA, that NEA simply cannot afford to continue standing along the sidelines of the education reform debate, because the forces arrayed against NEA are most often the same forces that are arrayed against the very idea of public education in America. NEA has a strong, credible, and well-deserved reputation as a union and a political force. We worked hard to achieve our union and political reputation, and it has served us well to now.