President Reagan courted America's second largest teacher organization, asking it to join his excellence-in-education campaign while harshly assailing the rival National Education Association.
Addressing the American Federation of Teachers, Mr. Reagan accused the NEA of trying to brainwash children with antigovernment propaganda. His attack on the NEA appeared to be based on a booklet issued by the group calling for a nuclear weapons freeze, which the President strongly opposes.
But Mr. Reagan's appearance before the AFT had its risks. The crowd gave Reagan a cool reception - about 100 delegates walked out of the hall as the president began to speak.