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Federal government should promote innovation in public schools

Public discussion must be expanded beyond charter schools


WASHINGTON - June 12, 2009 -

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today said to reporters that states should lift their own caps on the growth of charter schools, and states that refuse may not receive federal money as part of a $4.35 billion special fund for education program.

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

“We need to encourage bold new ideas that can benefit the greatest number of students, and that’s why we need to actively support innovation in public schools. The public discussions so far about what changes need to take place in education have focused far too narrowly on charter schools. What we need to discuss is which mix of proven and creative strategies will work to help move each public school toward excellence. We must focus attention on removing inappropriate barriers that make it more difficult for educators and public schools to innovate and address the needs of our diverse student population. And then we must use lessons learned from those innovations to scale up the successes to all public schools.”

For additional information, please visit www.nea.org

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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: Will Potter (202) 822-7823, wpotter@nea.org