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NEA president on Obama administration’s vision for fixing and reauthorizing federal education law

WASHINGTON - September 24, 2009 -

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel today welcomed the Obama administration’s call to fix and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Van Roekel also praised the administration for placing educators front and center during the reauthorization process. In remarks delivered to education stakeholders, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan outlined the administration’s plans for fixing and reauthorizing ESEA, focusing on the proper role of the federal government, urging Congress to put students and educators first, and on making the case to act now.
The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“The time to fix the flawed federal education law has come. We can’t afford to start another school year living with the unintended consequences of a law that has judged schools and students based solely on standardized test scores and that has narrowed the curriculum at the expense of preparing students with 21st century skills.

“We welcome the administration’s view that Washington can and should play a balanced and proper role in addressing the alarming dropout rate, closing the achievement gaps, providing educators with the tools and resources to get the job done, and strengthening the profession of teaching.

“That’s why we are pleased with their pledge to restore the honored status of educators as a noble and rewarding profession and their commitment to provide a well-rounded education that prepares children for the jobs of tomorrow. 

 “The Obama administration clearly understands that frontline educators are critical in making sure that what happens in Washington works in schools and classrooms across the country.

“We look forward to working with the Obama administration and Congress—as well as parents and community leaders—to put in place the right education vision for America through a new and reauthorized federal education law.”  

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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: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823,