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NEA reiterates collaboration as key to keeping teachers

Report findings affirm organization’s work to support teachers


WASHINGTON - April 07, 2009 -

A recent report from the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) affirms what NEA members and work groups have been saying—that improving teaching and learning conditions is key to fostering academic success in schools. NCTAF’s 21st Century White Paper, “Learning Teams: Creating What’s Next,” identifies the needs in our most challenged schools while acknowledging several important factors about the current academic environment. The report explores issues and policies around recruitment, mentoring and retention and offers workable solutions that coincide with NEA’s efforts to achieve the goal of a high-quality teacher in every classroom.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Quality teaching is engendered when teachers work together to analyze student progress, plan curriculum and instructional strategies and involve parents in their children’s schooling. NEA’s members are well aware of this, and during recent National Board Certified Teacher summits, they began to explore how to build on this information, how to enact policy legislation based on this premise and how to implement the changes that will result in this collaborative, mutually beneficial environment,” said Van Roekel.

“NEA concurs with the overall findings of the NCTAF report. We believe teaming and learning communities are smart policy, better strategy and sounder public investments than merit pay schemes. It is important that we leverage the value of well -trained, experienced teachers and invest in the vitality of new teachers to the benefit of our students and our schools. Our education system will suffer if we do not act now to build a better bridge between the old and new generation of teachers in ways that will make the profession of teaching a respected and desirable career choice—one that will allow our schools to flourish and our students to soar.”

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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: Michelle Hudgins
(202) 822-7823, mhudgins@nea.org