According to this book, the NEA was supposed to be a professional organization NOT a labor union. The AFT was in the process of unionizing the NYC teachers. Hey ... let's start a union! The NEA is a giant political machine with its own agenda - to rule the American education system. Don't believe me? Well, they were able to get Jimmy Carter to authorize the Department of Education as a separate entity from the DHS in 1978. When Ronald Regan tried to abolish it, he couldn't because of the NEA's political clout and pull. Not enough votes. Even though this book was written in 1986, it's still going on today. Do you really think smaller class sizes are going to happen anytime soon? It's been in my contract for 8 years but we still have 30+ in a classroom. It's all about the Benjamins. Smaller class sizes = more teachers to hire = more dues = more money for their PACs.