Education: Teachers' Champion

"A brighter day is dawning," cried the famed Horace Mann, "and education is its daystar." To the 200 educators who had come from all over the country to Cincinnati that day in 1858, the words of the main speaker were not just empty grandiloquence. One year earlier, they had met to form the first national organization that the U.S. teaching profession had ever known.

Last week, as it started celebrating its 100th anniversary, the National Education Association had nearly 700,000 members, accounting for 54% of the nation's teachers, superintendents, principals, professors and college presidents. In its new $7,000,000 green-glass and white-limestone Washington,...

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