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Obama urges students to take responsibility for their education

WASHINGTON - September 06, 2009 -

President Barack Obama will deliver a national address directly to students on September 8, which is the first day of school at many schools across the country. The National Education Association encourages parents, teachers, educators and students to use the historic address as an opportunity to work together, and ensure that all children receive the education they need to compete in a global economy.

“The president will urge students to take responsibility for their learning and their future by working hard and setting goals,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “In this uncertain global economy, there is no message more important for students to hear. It is not limited to students, though—we all have a shared responsibility to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to succeed.”

The NEA is encouraging parents and educators to use the historic address as an educational opportunity. Teachers may have students listen to the speech or view a video of the speech later during the first weeks of school.  NEA has developed and compiled resources to help address and extend some of the ideas in the president’s speech. Resources are available at

“A quality education is the foundation of a better life for every student, and a strong, healthy economy for the country,” Van Roekel said. “We applaud President Obama for delivering this message to students, who need to know that they have the power to take control of their futures, but we all need to be listening to this message. It is up to all of us to make sure every student attends a quality public school, and that they have no barriers to their success.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson
(202) 822-230-8978;