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NEA applauds Sen. Obama's comprehensive approach to education reform

WASHINGTON - September 09, 2008 -

Sen. Barack Obama laid out strategies to reform education in Dayton, Ohio, today.  The National Education Association applauded the comprehensive plan.

"Sen. Obama gets it," said Dennis Van Roekel, president of NEA.  "He knows that reform cannot take place overnight or by using quick fixes.  Obama wants to invest in comprehensive strategies, both immediate and long-term, which will pay dividends for our children, our economy and our country."

Obama's plan includes investing in innovation, integrating technology into coursework, increasing college access and affordability, recruiting, preparing and retaining qualified teachers, and doubling the funding for charter schools.

"Those of us in the education community can learn from charter school success stories and failures," said Van Roekel. "The key is to identify what is working that can be sustained and reproduced on a broad scale so that as many students as possible can benefit." 

Van Roekel added he was glad to see that Obama's plan for charter schools included accountability, both academically and financially.

A result of the so-called No Child Left Behind law has been a narrowing of curriculum, with schools more focused on getting students to fill in a bubble on a test instead of expanding educational opportunities for those children.  Obama's plan calls for developing better assessments and increasing the number of students taking advanced placement or college-level classes nationwide by 50 percent by 2016.  He also stressed the need for parental and family involvement and responsibility.

In July, NEA unveiled a plan to reshape the federal government's role in education.  Educators are pleased to see that some of the ideas outlined by those in the classroom are being incorporated into Obama's education platform.  For example, the Democratic presidential nominee wants to invest in research and development to further identify best practices and strategies to improve student achievement. 

For more information on NEA's plan, please visit:

For more on NEA's campaign activities, please visit:

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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: Ramona Parks-Kirby   (202) 822-7823